Medical Jeopardy helps residents sharpen their knowledge

This department boasts a winning record in a medical-knowledge competition for the past decade. Who is the department of internal medicine?

Trainees in the department of internal medicine participate in Doctors’ Dilemma, commonly known as Medical Jeopardy, as an entertaining and effective way to learn medical facts and concepts. But Dr. Wilson Lam, a former member of the team and now assistant professor in internal medicine and pediatrics at Baylor, says there’s more to it than that.

“Medical Jeopardy provides a forum for competition, camaraderie and culture for students, residents, faculty and the college to rally around,” Lam said.

The competition follows the format of the popular TV game show, with the answer in the form of question. Answers are listed in progressive degree of difficulty so that junior trainees should be able to answer the lowest value question, many may be familiar with a mid-range question, but all may be stumped on a high-value question and walk away learning something new.

Four major competitions on the academic calendar are considered the “Grand Slam” of Medical Jeopardy – the American College of Physicians state competition in November, the Southern Society of General Internal Medicine in February, National ACP in spring, and the Southeast Texas regional hosted by the Texas Chapter of the ACP between March and May.

The Baylor team has had a high level of success over the last decade, including:

  • Southeast Texas Regional Championships in 2006, 2008, and 2012
  • State ACP Championships in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2015; 2nd place in 2008; 3rd place in 2012 and 2013.
  • Five consecutive championships from 2012 to 2016 at Southern SGIM; 2nd place (sudden death) in 2011
  • National ACP – final 4 in 2012; semifinalist in 2008 and 2015, quarterfinalist in 2010 with another appearance in May 2016

Lam says the excitement of being on the hot seat builds character and reinforces recollection. But he cautions against confusing championship-caliber performances with an outstanding fund of knowledge. “Truthfully, knowledge is necessary but not sufficient as there are other critical skills, including teamwork, anticipation and buzzing. Practice is key, though attendees notice improvement in their board scores as well.”

Current members of the team include medical residents Rohit Maini, Harsha Mudrakola, David Wong, Greg Constantine and Joseph Redman. Lam notes that the team’s success would not be possible without the support of Dr. Stephen Greenberg and Dr. Richard Hamill. Learn more about the team’s success by watching these videos:

The department recently hosted a competition during grand rounds, with students, residents, faculty and alumni facing off. Some of the categories included ‘I’ve Got a Fever,” “Kidney Punch” and “Air Apparent.” The spirited but friendly competition was won by the alumni team of Wilson Lam and Andrea Lack.

Internal medicine isn’t the only department that competes in a Jeopardy style competition.

The department of surgery hosts an annual Surgical Jeopardy competition, which helps residents prepare for the American Board of Surgery In-Training Examination (ABSITE). The trivia competition pits residents, faculty and all-star resident teams against one another.

The most recent Surgical Jeopardy was in January. The two-round competition took place before the entire department and was moderated by chair of surgery Dr. Todd Rosengart. Categories included whipple procedure, colorectal, thoracic surgery, breast, ICU/critical care, tumor staging, bariatric surgery, trauma, retractors/instruments, vascular surgery, plastic surgery and endocrine surgery.