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Emergency medicine is an evolving discipline in Canadian medical schools. Little has been published regarding student preferences for emergency medicine training during the clerkship phase of MD programs. We assessed medical students' perceptions of a newly developed emergency medicine clerkship rotation involving multiple learning modalities. The evaluation process included assessment of the rotation's instructional elements and overall educational value.
The first cohort of medical students to complete this new emergency medicine clerkship was invited to answer a questionnaire just before graduation. Students rated their preferences for components of the rotation using paired comparisons. Open-ended questions explored students' satisfaction with the emergency medicine clerkship as well as perceptions of the rotation's impact on career development.
Of the 94 students in the first clerkship cohort, 81 (86%) responded to the survey. Students found the emergency medicine clerkship highly valuable, citing the broad range of cases seen, close supervision, and opportunities to develop clinical assessment, decision-making and procedural skills. Students' curricular preferences were for advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) (26.4%), clinical shifts (20.6%), supervised clinical shifts (17.8%), procedural skills laboratories (14.8%), tutorials (10.8%) and preceptor-assisted learning sessions (9.8%).
This new emergency medicine clerkship program incorporated multiple learning methods within a 4-week rotation and was highly rated by students. Although clinical shifts and ACLS were generally preferred activities, students had varying individual preferences for specific learning activities. Multiple learning methods allowed all students to benefit from the rotation. This study makes a compelling case for including an emergency medicine rotation with multiple learning modalities as a core element of clerkship at every medical school.
Insertion of central venous catheters (CVCs) is an essential competency for emergency physicians. Ultrasound-guided (USG) insertion of CVCs has been shown to be safer than the traditional landmark technique. There is no clear consensus on effective methods for training physicians in USG insertion of CVCs. We developed and evaluated a novel educational training program in the USG technique for insertion of CVCs.
Sixteen emergency medicine residents volunteered for a pre- and postprogram evaluation study, which was approved by our research ethics board. After their previous experience was determined, each participant was videotaped inserting a USG CVC in the right internal jugular vein on models. Participants then reviewed a Web-based instructional module and had a practical session. Participants were again videotaped inserting a USG CVC. The primary outcome was the change in score before and after the training program, using an expert-validated performance evaluation tool used to review the videotaped performances in a blinded fashion. Participants also completed a questionnaire to measure their satisfaction with the training program and any change in their perceived competence.
Participants ranged from residency year 1 to 5. Thirteen of 16 (81%) had never attempted USG insertion of a CVC. Participants reported that the models were realistic. Performance scores (12/19 to 13.2/19) and global ratings assessments (3.5/7 to 5.5/7) improved significantly (p < 0.01; the effect size, Cohen d = 1.12 before and 1.28 after) after the instruction. There was good interrater reliability between evaluators of the videotaped performances regarding performance scores (r = 0.68) and global rating scores (r = 0.75). All participants felt their confidence and technical skills were improved (p < 0.01) and all felt satisfied with the training program.
This brief innovative multimethod training program was effective in enhancing emergency medicine resident competence in USG insertion of CVCs.
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