Internal medicine residents spent little time reading, and prefer electronic resources, specifically UpToDate

This study from the Mayo Clinic assessed residents' reading habits and preferred educational resources at 5 internal medicine training programs via a survey.

78% of residents reported reading less than 7 hours a week.

81% of residents read in response to patient care encounters.

The preferred educational format was electronic, and UpToDate was the big winner among the surveyed group:

- 95% of residents cited UpToDate as the most effective resource for knowledge acquisition
- 89% of residents reported that UpToDate was their first choice for answering clinical questions

The study authors concluded that residents spent little time reading and sought knowledge primarily from electronic resources. Most residents read in the context of patient care.

The abstract does not mention anything about social media sources such as Wikipedia, blogs, and Twitter, but the residents encounter a lot of those through Google searches.


A multi-institutional survey of internal medicine residents' learning habits. Edson RS, Beckman TJ, West CP, Aronowitz PB, Badgett RG, Feldstein DA, Henderson MC, Kolars JC, McDonald FS. Med Teach. 2010;32(9):773-5. Image source: UpToDate.


  1. I'm a resident and I confirm!

  2. Electronic resources are readily available and can be accessed anywhere at anytime. I bet even students of internal medicine who are taking board review courses prefer electronic resources as well.