Electrocardiogram interpretation training and competency assessment in emergency medicine residency programs

Jesse M Pines, Debra G Perina, William J Brady
Academic Emergency Medicine 2004, 11 (9): 982-4

OBJECTIVES: To determine the type of electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation instruction in emergency medicine (EM) residency programs, the use and perceived value of teaching modalities and resources, and the methods used to assess competency of ECG interpretation.

METHODS: An interactive survey instrument was posted on the Internet using SurveySuite, Inc., software and e-mailed to program directors (PDs) of all 125 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-approved U.S. EM residency programs. Responses are reported in total numbers and percentages.

RESULTS: Ninety-nine of 125 PDs completed the online survey (response rate, 79.2%). Emergency department instruction (99%), case-based lectures (98%), and didactic lectures (98%) were most commonly used to teach interpretation of ECGs, followed by computer-based instruction (34%) and ECG laboratory (12%). The majority of programs (53%) spent more than eight hours on formal ECG lectures per year, while 11% spent less than three hours. Observation during clinical time (99%), lecture time (76%), and hypothetical cases (57%) were the most common ways to determine competency in reading ECGs, while clinical observation and hypothetical cases were perceived as the most valuable. The most commonly used resource was personal or departmental ECG files (91%), and this had the highest perceived value. The majority of PDs were comfortable with residents' abilities to read ECGs by the third year (96%) and fourth year (91%) of residency.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that EM PDs believe that EM residency is adequately preparing graduates to interpret ECGs. This goal is achieved through a variety of methods.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"