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A Resident-Authored, Case-Based Electrocardiogram Email Curriculum for Internal Medicine Residents

Authors
  • Klein, Andrew J.1
  • Berlacher, Mark2
  • Doran, Jesse A.3
  • Corbelli, Jennifer4
  • Rothenberger, Scott D.5
  • Berlacher, Kathryn6
  • 1 Clinical Instructor, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • 2 Fellow, Department of Cardiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
  • 3 Fellow, Division of Cardiology, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • 4 Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • 5 Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • 6 Assistant Professor of Medicine, Heart and Vascular Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
Type
Published Article
Journal
MedEdPORTAL : the Journal of Teaching and Learning Resources
Publisher
Association of American Medical Colleges
Publication Date
Aug 12, 2020
Volume
16
Identifiers
DOI: 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10927
PMID: 32821805
PMCID: PMC7431182
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

Introduction The interpretation of electrocardiograms (ECGs) is a critical competency for internal medicine trainees, yet time and resources to foster proficiency are limited. Methods This resident-authored ECG email curriculum for first-year residents involved 129 first-year internal medicine residents at three major academic university hospitals. Residents either received the resident-authored ECG email curriculum (intervention group) or continued standard training (control group). The curriculum involved 10 multiple-choice ECG cases emailed biweekly over the 6-month study period. All participants were asked to complete a pre- and postintervention test to assess ECG interpretation competency and attitudes. The primary outcome was improvement in ECG test performance. Results Among the 129 first-year residents participating, 21 of the 65 (32%) randomized to the intervention group and 13 of the 64 (20%) randomized to the control group completed both the pre- and posttests for analysis. While all participants’ ECG test scores improved over the study period ( p < .001), improvement did not differ between groups ( p = .860). We found that the effect of the intervention on ECG test performance varied significantly by the number of cardiology rotations an intern experienced ( p = .031), benefiting naïve learners the most. All intervention group participants who completed the posttest reported they would recommend it to a colleague. Discussion While it did not improve resident performance on an ECG posttest, this resident-authored ECG email curriculum offers a scalable way to provide trainees additional practice with ECG interpretation, with particular benefit to trainees who have not yet rotated on cardiology.

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