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The TEAM (Trauma Evaluation and Management) course: medical student knowledge gains and retention in the USA versus Ghana.



Trauma and injury are significant contributors to the global burden of disease, with 5 million deaths and 250 million disability-adjusted life years lost in 2015. This burden is disproportionally borne by low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Solutions are complex, but one area for improvement is basic trauma education. The American College of Surgeons has developed the Trauma Evaluation and Management (TEAM) course as an introduction to trauma care for medical students. We hypothesized that the TEAM course would be an effective educational program in LMICs and result in increased knowledge gains and retention similar to students in high-income countries (HICs).


The TEAM course was taught and students evaluated at two sites, one LMIC (Ghana) and one HIC (USA), after obtaining approval from the HIC Institutional Review Board and medical schools at both sites. Participation was optional for all students and results were de-identified. The course was administered by a single educator for all sessions. Multiple-choice exams were given before and after the course, and again 6 months later.


A total of 62 LMIC and 64 HIC students participated in the course and completed initial testing. Demographics for the two groups were similar, as was participant attrition over time. LMIC students started with a relative knowledge deficit, scoring lower on both pre-course and post-course tests than HIC students, but gained more knowledge during the initial teaching session. After 6 months, the LMIC students continued to improve, whereas the HIC students' knowledge had regressed. Most students recommended course expansion.


The TEAM course is a useful tool to provide the basic principles of trauma care to students in LMICs, and should be expanded. Further study is needed to determine the impact of TEAM education on patient care in LMICs.

Level of evidence

Level III; Care Management.

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