Original Article

Implementation of a Night-Float Curriculum: Impact on Intern Confidence over Time

Authors: Holland M. Kaplan, MD, Ruchit Rana, MD, Prathit A. Kulkarni, MD


Objectives: Formal nighttime education is becoming increasingly necessary as more internal medicine (IM) residency programs adopt night-float rotations (NFRs); however, the efficacy of an NFR curriculum throughout an academic year and which topics in an NFR curriculum increase trainee confidence are unknown. We implemented a 12-module, self-paced NFR curriculum for 76 postgraduate year-1 residents at an academic IM residency program. We evaluated the impact of this curriculum on postgraduate year-1 residents’ clinical confidence, as well as longitudinal efficacy of the curriculum.

Methods: Night-float interns’ (NFIs) clinical confidence regarding specific curricular topics was evaluated overall and during specific timeframes within the academic year. Pre- and post-NFR surveys using Likert scales for each topic were administered to NFIs from June 24, 2020 to March 2, 2021, representing 32 week-long NFR cycles.

Results: NFIs’ pre- and postrotation confidence in managing clinical scenarios significantly improved for all 12 topics in the NFR curriculum. The NFR curriculum resulted most significantly in improved confidence during the first 4 months of the academic year, with 11 of 12 curricular topics reaching the threshold for statistical significance. Modules on altered mental status, hypotension, narrow-complex tachyarrhythmias, new fever, and sepsis and antibiotic escalation maintained their efficacy for the longest periods of time.

Conclusions: It may be especially important to emphasize an NFR curriculum at the beginning of the academic year. IM residency programs also may wish to carefully consider that certain topics may maintain their efficacy throughout the year, whereas other topics should potentially be replaced with more complex modules as the academic year progresses.

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