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The objective of this study was to assess medical students' knowledge of and attitudes toward the two Canadian emergency medicine (EM) residency programs (Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada [FRCPC] and Certificant of the College of Family Physicians-Emergency Medicine [CCFP-EM]). Additionally, medical students interested in EM were asked to select factors affecting their preferred choice of residency training program and their intended future practice.
Medical students enrolled at The University of Western Ontario for the 2008–2009 academic year were invited to complete an online 47-item questionnaire pertaining to their knowledge, opinions, and attitudes toward EM residency training.
Of the 563 students invited to participate, 406 (72.1%) completed the survey. Of the respondents, 178 (43.8%) expressed an interest in applying to an EM residency training program, with 85 (47.8%) most interested in applying to the CCFP-EM program.
The majority of respondents (54.1%) interested in EM believed that there should be two streams to EM certification, whereas 18.0% disagreed. Family life and control over work schedule appeared to be common priorities seen as benefits of any career in EM. Other high-ranking factors influencing career choice differed between the groups interested in CCFP-EM and FRCPC. The majority of students interested in the CCFP-EM residency program (78%) reported that they intend to blend their EM with their family medicine practice. Only 2% of students planned to practice only EM with no family medicine.
This is the first survey of Canadian medical students to describe disparities in factors influencing choice of EM residency stream, perceptions of postgraduate work life, and anticipated practice environment.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations recommends that patients admitted to hospital with pneumonia receive their first dose of antibiotics within 6 hours of presenting to the emergency department (ED). Previous research in the United States indicates that rural hospitals may be better at achieving this benchmark than urban centres. This particular quality indicator has not yet been evaluated in Canada. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the target door-to-antibiotic (DTA) time of 6 hours or less could be met in a rural ED.
We conducted a retrospective chart review of patients admitted to hospital with a diagnosis of pneumonia. Descriptive data for each case was collected, including demographic and timeline information. We analyzed DTA time, antibiotic type, route of administration, hospital length of stay and disposition at discharge.
We reviewed a total of 320 charts from Apr. 1, 2003, to Mar. 31, 2008. The final sample consisted of 143 patients (50.3% women) whose median age was 79 years. The median DTA time was 151 minutes and 81.8% of patients received their first dose of antibiotics within 6 hours. Patients received antibiotics either orally (47.6%), intravenously (47.6%) or both (4.8%). Single-agent respiratory fluoroquinolones were used 71.4% of the time. Median length of hospital stay was 4 days; most patients were discharged home (79.7%), 11 died, 11 were transferred and 7 were discharged to a nursing home.
A DTA time of 6 hours or less is achievable in a rural ED.
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