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Subspecialisation is increasingly a fundamental part of the contemporary practice of medicine. However, little is known about how medical trainees learn in the modern era, and particularly in growing and relatively new subspecialties, such as adult CHD. The purpose of this study was to assess institutional-led and self-directed learning strategies of adult CHD fellows.
This international, cross-sectional online survey was conducted by the International Society for Adult Congenital Heart Disease and consisted primarily of categorical questions and Likert rating scales. All current or recent (i.e., those within 2 years of training) fellows who reported training in adult CHD (within adult/paediatric cardiology training or within subspecialty fellowships) were eligible.
A total of 75 fellows participated in the survey: mean age: 34 ± 5; 35 (47%) female. Most adult CHD subspecialty fellows considered case-based teaching (58%) as “very helpful”, while topic-based teaching was considered “helpful” (67%); p = 0.003 (favouring case-based). When facing a non-urgent clinical dilemma, fellows reported that they were more likely to search for information online (58%) than consult a faculty member (29%) or textbook (3%). Many (69%) fellows use their smartphones at least once daily to search for information during regular clinical work.
Fellows receiving adult CHD training reported a preference for case-based learning and frequent use of online material and smartphones. These findings may be incorporated into the design and enhancement of fellowships and development of online training resources.
With the rising incidence of health care emergencies, there has been a considerable burden placed on health care systems worldwide. We aimed to determine the willingness and capacity of medical students in Ireland to volunteer during health care emergencies.
An online, cross-sectional survey of medical students at the National University of Ireland was conducted in 2015.
Respondents totaling 274 completed the survey (response rate – 30.1%). Of participants, 69.0% were willing to volunteer in the event of a natural disaster and 59.1% in an event of an infectious epidemic, with altruism being the strongest motivational factor. Only a minority of students (23.7%) felt their current skill level would be useful in an emergency setting.
Medical students express a strong interest in actively participating during health care emergencies.
Motivational interviewing (MI) is a patient-centered approach that encourages patients to change behaviors. MI training programs have increased residents’ knowledge and use of MI skills; however, many residency programs may not have the time to dedicate to lengthy MI programs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the benefits of a brief MI didactic for residents in an academic internal medicine patient-centered medical home.
Thirty-two residents completed a 1-h MI training between October 2016 and June 2017 and completed measures on their knowledge of, confidence using, and utilization of MI skills prior to the training, immediately after the training, and at a 1-month follow-up.
The residents’ knowledge of and confidence using MI skills increased from pre-test to post-test and also increased from pre-test to the 1-month follow-up.
The utilization of MI skills increased from pre-test to the 1-month follow-up. A 1-h didactic offers benefits to residents.
In light of the increasing numbers of detentions of mentally unwell patients in the UK and the recent review of the Mental Health Act, this editorial seeks to analyse the process of Section 12 approval of doctors from a medical educational perspective. We compare the approval mechanisms with assessments in other specialities and suggest evidence-based improvements. We believe that a rethinking of the Royal College of Psychiatrists' learning objectives for Section 12 approval and the introduction of a summative assessment would improve the knowledge and skills of clinicians performing an important and scrutinised role within our society.
A high degree of vigilance and appropriate diagnostic methods are required to detect Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). We studied the effectiveness of a multimodal training program for improving CDI surveillance and prevention. Between 2011 and 2016, this program was made available to healthcare staff of acute care hospitals in Catalonia. The program included an online course, two face-to-face workshops and dissemination of recommendations on prevention and diagnosis. Adherence to the recommendations was evaluated through surveys administered to the infection control teams at the 38 participating hospitals. The incidence of CDI increased from 2.20 cases/10 000 patient-days in 2011 to 3.41 in 2016 (P < 0.001). The number of hospitals that applied an optimal diagnostic algorithm rose from 32.0% to 71.1% (P = 0.002). Hospitals that applied an optimal diagnostic algorithm reported a higher overall incidence of CDI (3.62 vs. 1.92, P < 0.001), and hospitals that were more active in searching for cases reported higher rates of hospital-acquired CDI (1.76 vs. 0.84, P < 0.001). The results suggest that the application of a multimodal training strategy was associated with a significant rise in the reporting of CDI, as well as with an increase in the application of the optimal diagnostic algorithm.
Workforce shortages in psychiatry are common worldwide. The international literature provides insights into factors influencing decisions to train in psychiatry but is predominately survey based. This national cohort study aimed to identify the characteristics of doctors who were most likely to apply to psychiatry training programmes. The sample comprised doctors who entered UK medical schools in 2007/8 and who made first-time specialty training applications in 2015. The association between application to psychiatry and doctors' sociodemographic and educational characteristics was examined using multivariable logistic regression.
Those most likely to apply were White, privately educated older doctors with below average performance at medical school.
To reduce workforce shortages, psychiatry must make itself more attractive to all doctors, especially those from underrepresented groups such as state-educated Black and minority ethnic individuals. Otherwise, national policies to widen participation in the study of medicine by such groups may exacerbate the current recruitment crisis.
Introduction: Point of care ultrasound is a burgeoning tool in clinical medicine and its utility has been demonstrated in a variety of contexts. It may be especially useful in rural areas where access to other imaging equipment (such as CT) is limited. However, there exists debate about the utility of teaching ultrasound theory and technique to medical undergraduates, particularly those in their first two years of study. This study evaluated the efficacy of teaching undergraduate-tailored ultrasound training sessions to first and second-year medical students at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine (NOSM), a rural-focused medical institution. Methods: Sixty students participated in tailored ultrasound teaching sessions that involved both lecture and hands-on components. Participating students were assessed following each session, as well as at study completion, in terms of ultrasound knowledge, anatomy, pathology, orientation, and interpretation of computerized tomography (CT) scans (transferability). Participants’ performance was measured against a control group of their peers. Program evaluation was completed using Likert-type scales to determine participant comfort with ultrasound before and after the training, and areas of strength and improvement. Results: Participating students showed statistically significant improvement in ultrasound interpretation and anatomical orientation with trends toward improved anatomy and pathology knowledge, and ability to interpret computerized tomography (CT) scans compared to controls. Students participating in the course expressed improved comfort with ultrasound techniques and desire for future integration of ultrasound into their training, but noted that increasing frequency of training sessions might have improved retention and confidence. Conclusion: Results suggest that using an undergraduate-focused and system-specific ultrasound training course yields retention in ultrasound interpretation ability and objective improvement in relational anatomy knowledge. Trends toward improvement in general anatomy, pathology and CT interpretation suggest areas of future study.
Introduction: Quality improvement and patient safety (QIPS) are increasingly recognized as integral to the provision and advancement of emergency medicine (EM) care. In 2015, QIPS were added to the Canadian Medical Education Directives for Specialists (CanMEDS) framework. However, the level of QIPS education and support that Canadian EM residents receive is unknown. In order to better plan national QIPS efforts aimed at enabling EM residents to improve their local care settings, we sought to assess the current state of QIPS education and support in Canadian EM residency programs. Methods: This was a descriptive, cross-sectional electronic survey that was disseminated to all current Canadian EM residents from both Royal College (RC) and Family Medicine - EM training streams. Residents were recruited either directly or through their program's administrative assistant. The survey consisted of multiple-choice, Likert and free-text entry questions. Themes included a) familiarity with QIPS; b) local opportunities for QIPS projects and mentorship; and c) desire for further QIPS education and involvement. The survey was open for a five-week period, with formal reminders after the first and third weeks. Descriptive statistics are reported. Results: 189 (35%) of 535 current EM residents completed the survey, representing all 17 medical schools. 77% of respondents were from the RC stream. 54.7% of respondents reported being “somewhat” or “very” familiar with QIPS. 47.2% of respondents reported “not knowing” or “not having readily available” QIPS projects to participate in their local environment, and 51.5% had equivalent responses with respect to QIPS mentorship opportunities. Only 17.5% of respondents reported that QIPS methodologies were already formally taught in their residency program, and 66.9% indicated a desire for increased QIPS teaching. The majority of respondents were “slightly” (35.9%), “moderately” (23.2%) or “very” (11.3%) interested in becoming involved with QIPS training and initiatives. Conclusion: Responding Canadian EM residents are interested in obtaining greater QIPS education as well as project and mentorship opportunities, but many perceive that they do not have adequate access to these at the current time. As the importance of QIPS increases in the EM community, supporting residents with more robust educational infrastructures may be necessary. Future efforts may include the standardizing of QIPS postgraduate curricula and improving access to QIPS opportunities across the country.
Introduction: CanadiEM.org is a multi-author open access medical education website which aims to improve emergency care in Canada by building an online community of practice for healthcare practitioners and providing them with high quality, freely available educational resources. It is used by physicians, allied health professionals, and trainees globally. Junior (medical student and/or resident) Editors are key members of the community who are mentored to advance their academic skills and knowledge for their careers and the healthcare field. The program also aims to increase the sustainability of the CanadiEM project by supporting the creation and publishing of online content. We aimed to assess the impact and efficacy of this program while discovering ways to improve it. Methods: The experience of all current and previous Junior Editors were assessed through a survey developed by the authorship team for this purpose. The survey consisted of 48 questions, including 15 multiple choice questions rated using a Likert Scale, 10 open-ended questions, and 23 demographic or binary yes/no questions. The participants' perceptions of their experience, desire for future involvement, and opinions regarding implementation of the program at other medical education websites were assessed using open-ended qualitative questions. These responses were thematically analyzed. Results: A total of 28 Junior Editors responded (71.7% of those surveyed). They listed their responsibilities as uploading/copyediting posts, authorship of posts, infographic creation, social media promotion, authorship of podcast summaries, editing of podcasts, and logo design. Results revealed a positive experience across all domains, with participants citing a better experience when compared to previous similar roles. 85.7% (24/28) stated they achieved their expectations from the program, and 82.1% (23/28) would incorporate this program into another medical education website if given the opportunity. Conclusion: Junior Editors reported positive experiences across all responsibilities, with particular value placed on digital and authorship skills development, inspiration for future FOAMed, research engagement, and mentorship/networking. Through collaboration with current team members, we will implement improvement initiatives. Based upon these results, we believe that the Junior Editor model may also be viable within other medical education communities.
Introduction: In 2016, a team at McMaster began developing GridlockED, an educational (or “serious”) board game designed to teach medical learners about patient flow in the emergency department. As serious board games are a relatively new phenomenon in medical education, there is little data on how marketed games are actually used once received by end-users. In this study our goal was to better understand the demographics and game usage for purchasers of the GridlockED board game, which will inform the further improvement or expansion of the game. Methods: Individuals who expressed interest in purchasing gridlockED via our online storefront were sent an anonymous online survey via Google Form. The survey collected demographic and qualitative data with a focus on the respondent's role in medicine, how they have used GridlockED, who they have played GridlockED with, and what changes or additions to GridlockED they would like to see. We also asked about changes for a potential mass-market version of the game targeted towards non-medical individuals. Individuals who did not purchase the game were asked about their barriers to purchase. We received an exemption for this study from our institutional review board. Results: 42 responses (out of 300 individuals on our mailing list, 14% response rate) were collected. Responding purchasers were from 16 different roles in healthcare and 11 different countries. The top 5 roles were: EM trainee, Community EM MD, Academic EM MD, Physicians from other specialties, and EM program director. The majority of respondents were Canadian (38%), with America (21%), New Zealand (10%), and Turkey (7%) the only other countries to have more than 2 respondents. 50% reported having played the game, with the most common use cases being for fun (76%), for teaching trainees (33%) or training with colleagues (19%). For those who did not purchase, price was the largest barrier (81%). 50% of respondents expressed interest in a disaster scenario expansion pack, with 33% interested in set lesson plans. Conclusion: GridlockED attracted interest from a wide range of medical professionals, both in terms or role and location. Users mainly reported using the game for fun, with fewer users using the game for teaching/training purposes. The main barrier to purchase was the game's price.
Introduction: Global health partnerships (GHPs) between high income and low income countries are a means of capacity building in education. Literature often focuses on the GHP structure and output, along with retention and experience of local trainees, but neglects the experience of involved faculty. Here, we survey Canadian teaching faculty participating in the Toronto Addis Ababa Academic Collaboration in Emergency Medicine (TAAAC-EM) to describe characteristics of participants and their experience in the program. Methods: EM faculty participating in TAAAC-EM teaching trips from 2011-2016 were invited to complete an online survey in February 2017. Teaching faculty travel for one month and undergo an extensive selection process, pre-departure training and post-trip debriefing. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analyzed using basic statistics and inductive thematic analyses respectively. Results: Overall, 19 (N = 30, 63.3%) faculty completed the survey, of which 13 had prior global health experiences (range 1 to > 12 months). On a scale of 1-7, participants rated their mean overall experience as a 5.9 and preparation as a 5.7. Among respondents, 79% would participate in future TAAAC-EM activities, 79% would engage in future global health endeavours, 95% said the experience improved their satisfaction of practicing clinical medicine and 89% said it improved their enjoyment of teaching medicine. However, while 58% stated they would recommend this experience without hesitation to colleagues, the remaining 42% said they would recommend this experience with caveats. This latter group had a lower rated preparedness (MD = 1.398, p = 0.003) and TAAAC-EM experience (MD = 1.545, p = 0.001). Major themes in qualitative responses included that the participants felt that intrinsic motivation and flexible predispositions were necessary to participate. Intrinsic motivation for global health involvement included appreciation and impact for GH, and personal growth. Regarding flexibility, respondents highlighted the importance of having a flexible demeanor to understand, accommodate and ethically address cultural differences and practicing in another context. Conclusion: The type of faculty to recruit for GHPs may require flexible predispositions and intrinsic motivation for GH. These qualities combined with adequate preparation can facilitate overall faculty experiences on global health trips.
Introduction: GridlockED is an educational (or “serious”) game recently developed by a team at McMaster to teach medical learners about patient flow in the emergency department (ED). Beyond patient flow, we were cognizant that the game could provide additional learning opportunities for learners. The goal of this program evaluation project was to investigate workshop attendees’ experiences and identify what areas they found most educational. Methods: A GridlockED board game workshop was developed and delivered in several locations over the fall of 2018. Workshops targeted medical learners and were organized by local emergency medicine interest groups. After a standardized video-based introduction to the game concept and rules, the learners played GridlockED for approximately 90 minutes. After the play session, learners completed an anonymous survey consisting of 7-point Likert scale questions about their experience. They were also asked to identify the learning domains for which GridlockED was developed (Patient Flow, Communication and Teamwork, and ED Basics), and were asked via free-text to identify learning objectives from their experience. We received an exemption for this study from our institutional review board. Results: We had 25 respondents (24 medical students and 1 resident). Trainees rated GridlockED as both enjoyable to play and as a meaningful educational experience, with an average rating of 6.56 (SD 0.94) for enjoyability and 6.44 (0.92) for education. When asked what targeted learning domain was most helpful, 45% of students identified patient flow, 37% teamwork and communication, and only 18% ED basics. When asked to identify their top three areas of learning in open-ended responses, students actually identified resource management most frequently (48%), with improved communication skills (40%) as the second most prominent learning objective. Other interesting self-identified learning points were: a greater appreciation of the role of various providers (24%), the unpredictability of ED care (12%), and how things can go wrong (12%). Conclusion: Medical learners find GridlockED to be both enjoyable and educational. In our targeted areas of learning they found patient flow to be the most educational, but self-identified multiple other areas for learning. Students identified resource management and communication as key areas of learning, suggesting that future workshops might be designed specifically to teach these skills.
The author considers the role of narratives, specifically end-of-life narratives, in medical education. After addressing the role of indexing and other neurological explanations for the validity of narratives in the classroom, she focuses on one recent memoir that explores the medical experience of an ALS patient. The advantages of using narratives, including the understanding of the patients’ perspective and the development of empathy, are two important reasons to adopt this approach.
Emergency physicians play an important role in providing care at the end-of-life as well as identifying patients who may benefit from a palliative approach. Several studies have shown that emergency medicine (EM) residents desire further training in palliative care. We performed a national cross-sectional survey of EM program directors. Our primary objective was to describe the number of Canadian postgraduate EM training programs with palliative and end-of-life care curricula.
A 15-question survey in English and French was sent by email to all program directors of both the Canadian College of Family Physicians emergency medicine (CCFP(EM)) and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada emergency medicine (RCPSC-EM) postgraduate training programs countrywide using FluidSurveys™ with a modified Dillman approach.
We received a total of 26 responses from the 36 (response rate = 72.2%) EM postgraduate programs in Canada. Ten out of 26 (38.5%) programs had a structured educational program pertaining to palliative and end-of-life care. Lectures or seminars were the exclusive choice to teach content. Clinical palliative medicine rotations were mandatory in one out of 26 (3.8%) programs. The top two barriers to implementation of palliative and end-of-life care curricula were lack of time (84.6%) and curriculum development concerns (80.8%).
Palliative and end-of-life care training within EM has been identified as an area of need. This cross-sectional survey demonstrates that a minority of Canadian EM programs have palliative and end-of-life care curricula. It will be important for all EM training programs, RCPSC-EM and CCFP(EM), in Canada, to develop an agreed upon set of competencies and to structure their curricula around them.
The main objective of this study was to use the principles of cognitive load theory to design a curriculum that incorporates a progressive part practice approach to teaching ultrasound-guided (USG) internal jugular catheterization (IJC) to novices. A secondary objective was to compare the technical proficiency of residents trained using this curriculum with the technical proficiency of residents trained with the current local standard of a single simulation session.
The experimental group included 16 residents who attended three 2-hour sessions of progressive part practice in a simulation lab. The control group included 46 residents who attended the current local standard of a single 2-hour simulation session just prior to their intensive care unit rotation. Technical proficiency was assessed using hand motion analysis and time to procedure completion.
After three sessions, median scores for right hand motion (RHM) (34.5; [27.0-49.0]), left hand motion (LHM) (35.5; [20.0-45.0]), and total time (TT) (117.0 s; [82.7-140.0]) in the experimental group were significantly better than the control group (p<0.001). Results for eight experimental group residents who were assessed for retention at a later date revealed median scores for RHM (45.0; [32.0-58.0]), LHM (33.5; [20.0-63.0]), and TT (150.0 s; [103.0-399.6]), which were significantly better than those of the control group (p=0.01, p<0.01, and p=0.02, respectively).
These results support multiple sessions of progressive part practice in a simulation lab as an effective competency-based approach to teaching USG IJC in preparation for the clinical setting.
The purpose of this study was to demonstrate effectiveness of an educational training workshop using role-playing to teach medical students in Botswana to deliver bad news.
A 3-hour small group workshop for University of Botswana medical students rotating at the Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone was developed. The curriculum included an overview of communication basics and introduction of the validated (SPIKES) protocol for breaking bad news. Education strategies included didactic lecture, handouts, role-playing cases, and open forum discussion. Pre- and posttraining surveys assessed prior exposure and approach to breaking bad news using multiple-choice questions and perception of skill about breaking bad news using a 5-point Likert scale. An objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) with a standardized breaking bad news skills assessment was conducted; scores compared two medical student classes before and after the workshop was implemented.
Forty-two medical students attended the workshop and 83% (35/42) completed the survey. Medical students reported exposure to delivering bad news on average 6.9 (SD = 13.7) times monthly, with 71% (25/35) having delivered bad news themselves without supervision. Self-perceived skill and confidence increased from 23% (8/35) to 86% (30/35) of those who reported feeling “good” or “very good” with their ability to break bad news after the workshop. Feedback after the workshop demonstrated that 100% found the SPIKES approach helpful and planned to use it in clinical practice, found role-playing helpful, and requested more sessions. Competency for delivering bad news increased from a mean score of 14/25 (56%, SD = 3.3) at baseline to 18/25 (72%, SD = 3.6) after the workshop (p = 0.0002).
Significance of results
This workshop was effective in increasing medical student skill and confidence in delivering bad news. Standardized role-playing communication workshops integrated into medical school curricula could be a low-cost, effective, and easily implementable strategy to improve communication skills of doctors.