, Volume 18, Issue 12, pp 1023-1027

A new curriculum using active learning methods and standardized patients to train residents in smoking cessation

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Physicians can play a key role in smoking cessation but often fail to advise smokers effectively, mainly because they lack counseling skills. We need effective training programs starting during residency to improve physicians’ smoking cessation interventions and smokers’ quit rates. To achieve this goal, we developed a curriculum using active learning methods and the stages-of-change model. A randomized trial demonstrated that this program increased the quality of physician’s counseling and smokers’ quit rates at 1 year. This paper describes the educational content and methods of this program. Participants learn to assess smokers’ stage of change, to use counseling strategies matching the smoker’s stage, and to prescribe pharmacological therapy. This 2 half-day training program includes observation of video-clips, interactive workshops, role plays, practice with standardized patients, and written material for physicians and patients. Participants reached learning objectives and appreciated the content and active methods of the program.

Presented at the session “Innovations in Medical Education” of the 24th Annual Meeting of the Society of General Internal Medicine in San Diego, Calif., May 2–5, 2001.