Wiki in Resident Education


Recently updated the external web page for our residency training for psychiatry. It’s in Dutch and still rather dull. There’s also a website for residents of psychiatry on the intra net. It’s even duller. Mostly outdated documents. Wouldn’t a Wiki be an alternative instead for a static web page?

Advantages of a Wiki

  • It can combine several heterogeneous systems such as documents, files, videos etc. etc.
  • Editing can be delegated to the participants in this case residents in training
  • Information can be updated easily by the different participants instead of one editor

A disadvantage could be improper editing or using the wiki for purposes not intended.

What could possibly be published on a Wiki for residency training in Psychiatry?

Using a wiki for resident education has been tried and researched. The authors from a recent publication on the results of using a wiki in education for radiology residents needed a wiki with the following features

ability to leverage existing authentication mechanisms, support diverse content including file attachments and images, provide easy organization, be readily searchable, allow quick tracking of recent changes, provide a flexible structure for granting editing permission, and require minimal administrative oversight

They found it as Dokuwiki. It was easily implemented. They also designed a survey to assess the effect of the wiki on the residency program. Fifty-one out of 60 residents responded to the survey (85%).

On average, residents thought the wiki was very useful (4.7± 0.5; Likert scale, 5 being very useful).

Residents used the wiki for looking up phone numbers, dictation templates, rotation information, educational content, schedules and others. These answers on the survey could be compared to log files on the server. The success was mostly explained by listening to the residents.

During the early days of our wiki, there was a push from the chief residents to include what was expected to be high-yield content including rotation and call schedules, phone number listings, and general on-call help.

Chief residents were the most important in maintaining the wiki. In 3 years there was no malicious editing on the wiki.

Finally, the human and hardware costs associated with implementing the wiki have been low, including 18 h of server setup and use of inexpensive server hardware.

So money can’t be an argument against implementing such a wiki.
Kohli, M., & Bradshaw, J. (2010). What is a Wiki, and How Can it be Used in Resident Education? Journal of Digital Imaging, 24 (1), 170-175 DOI: 10.1007/s10278-010-9292-7