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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Volume 19, Issue 1, 2018

Educational Scholarship Insights

Brief Research Report

Training in Emergency Obstetrics: A Needs Assessment of U.S. Emergency Medicine Program Directors

Introduction: Obstetrical emergencies are a high-risk yet infrequent occurrence in the emergency department. While U.S. emergency medicine (EM) residency graduates are required to perform 10 low-risk normal spontaneous vaginal deliveries, little is known about how residencies prepare residents to manage obstetrical emergencies. We sought to profile the current obstetrical training curricula through a survey of U.S. training programs.

Methods: We sent a web-based survey covering the four most common obstetrical emergencies (pre-eclampsia/eclampsia, postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), shoulder dystocia, and breech presentation) through email invitations to all program directors (PD) of U.S. EM residency programs. The survey focused on curricular details as well as the comfort level of the PDs in the preparation of their graduating residents to treat obstetrical emergencies and normal vaginal deliveries.

Results: Our survey had a 55% return rate (n=105/191). Of the residencies responding, 75% were in the academic setting, 20.2% community, 65% urban, and 29.8% suburban, and the obstetrical curricula were 2-4 weeks long occurring in post-graduate year one. The most common teaching method was didactics (84.1-98.1%), followed by oral cases for pre-eclampsia (48%) and PPH (37.2%), and homemade simulation for shoulder dystocia (37.5%) and breech delivery (33.3%). The PDs’ comfort about residency graduate skills was highest for normal spontaneous vaginal delivery, pre-eclampsia, and PPH. PDs were not as comfortable about their graduates’ skill in handling shoulder dystocia or breech delivery.

Conclusion: Our survey found that PDs are less comfortable in their graduates’ ability to perform non-routine emergency obstetrical procedures.

The Flipped Journal Club

Introduction: Educators struggle to develop a journal club format that promotes active participation from all levels of trainees. The explosion of social media compels residencies to incorporate the evaluation and application of these resources into evidence-based practice. We sought to design an innovative “flipped journal club” to achieve greater effectiveness in meeting goals and objectives among residents and faculty.

Methods: Each journal club is focused on a specific clinical question based on a landmark article, a background article, and a podcast or blog post. With the “flipped” model, residents are assigned to prepare an in-depth discussion of one of these works based on their level of training. At journal club, trainees break into small groups and discuss their assigned readings with faculty facilitation. Following the small-group discussions, all participants convene to summarize key points. In redesigning our journal club, we sought to achieve specific educational outcomes, and improve participant engagement and overall impressions.

Results: Sixty-one residents at our emergency medicine program participated in the flipped journal club during the 2015-2016 academic year, with supervision by core faculty. Program evaluation for the flipped journal club was performed using an anonymous survey, with response rates of 70% and 56% for residents and faculty, respectively. Overall, 95% of resident respondents and 100% of faculty respondents preferred the flipped format.

Conclusion: The “flipped journal club” hinges upon well-selected articles, incorporation of social media, and small-group discussions. This format engages all residents, holds learners accountable, and encourages greater participation among residents and faculty.

  • 1 supplemental PDF
  • 2 supplemental files

Systematic Review

Taking Advantage of the Teachable Moment: A Review of Learner-Centered Clinical Teaching Models

When working in a chaotic Emergency Department (ED) with competing priorities, clinical teaching may be sacrificed for the sake of patient flow and throughput. An organized, efficient approach to clinical teaching helps focus teaching on what the learner needs at that moment, incorporates regular feedback, keeps the department on track, and prevents over-teaching. Effective clinical teaching in a busy environment is an important skill for senior residents and faculty to develop. This review will provide a critique and comparison of seven structured teaching models to better prepare readers to seize the teachable moment.

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Feasibility and Usability of Tele-interview for Medical Residency Interview

Every year in the United States, medical students and residency programs dedicate millions of dollars to the residency matching process. On-site interviews for training positions involve tremendous financial investment, and time spent detracts from educational pursuits and clinical responsibilities. Students are usually required to fund their own travel and accommodations, adding additional financial burdens to an already costly medical education. Similarly, residency programs allocate considerable funds to interview-day meals, tours, staffing, and social events. With the rapid onslaught of innovations and advancements in the field of telecommunication, technology has become ubiquitous in the practice of medicine. Internet applications have aided our ability to deliver appropriate, evidence-based care at speeds previously unimagined. Wearable medical tech allows physicians to monitor patients from afar, and telemedicine has emerged as an economical means by which to provide care to all corners of the world. It is against this backdrop that we consider the integration of technology into the residency application process. This article aims to assess the implementation of technology in the form of web-based interviewing as a viable means by which to reduce the costs and productivity losses associated with traditional in-person interview days.

Brief Educational Advances

Development of a Case-based Reading Curriculum and Its Effect on Resident Reading

Textbook reading plays a foundational role in a resident’s knowledge base. Many residency programs place residents on identical reading schedules, regardless of the clinical work or rotation the resident is doing. We sought to develop a reading curriculum that takes into account the clinical work a resident is doing so their reading curriculum corresponds with their clinical work. Preliminary data suggests an increased amount of resident reading and an increased interest in reading as a result of this change to their reading curriculum.

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Free Open Access Medical Education (FOAM) Resources in a Team-Based Learning Educational Series

Although Free Open Access Medical Education (FOAM) has become popular within emergency medicine, concerns exist regarding its role in resident education. We sought to develop an educational intervention whereby residents could review FOAM resources while maintaining faculty oversight. We created a novel curriculum pairing FOAM from the Academic Life in Emergence Medicine (ALiEM) Approved Instructional Resources (Air) series with a team-based learning (TBL) format. Residents have an opportunity to engage with FOAM in a structured setting with faculty input on possible practice changes. This series has been well-received by residents and appears to have increased engagement with core content material. Qualitative feedback from residents on this series has been positive and we believe this is the first described use of TBL in emergency medicine. [

Bringing the Flipped Classroom to Day 1: A Novel Didactic Curriculum for Emergency Medicine Intern Orientation

Most emergency medicine (EM) residency programs provide an orientation program for their incoming interns, with the lecture being the most common education activity during this period. Our orientation program is designed to bridge the gap between undergraduate and graduate medical education by ensuring that all learners demonstrate competency on Level 1 Milestones, including medical knowledge (MK). To teach interns core medical knowledge in EM, we reformulated orientation using the flipped-classroom model by replacing lectures with small group, case-based discussions. Interns demonstrated improvement in medical knowledge through higher scores on a posttest. Evaluation survey results were also favorable for the flipped-classroom teaching format.

Original Research

Self vs. Other Focus: Predicting Professionalism Remediation of Emergency Medicine Residents

Introduction: Unprofessionalism is a major reason for resident dismissal from training. Because of the high stakes involved, residents and educators alike would benefit from information predicting whether they might experience challenges related to this competency. Our objective was to correlate the outcome of professionalism-related remedial actions during residency with the predictor variable of resident response to a standardized interview question: “Why is Medicine important to you?”  

Methods: We conducted a professional development quality improvement (QI) initiative to improve resident education and mentorship by achieving a better understanding of each resident’s reasons for valuing a career in medicine. This initiative entailed an interview administered to each resident beginning emergency medicine training at San Antonio Military Medical Center during 2006-2013.  The interviews uniformly began with the standardized question “Why is Medicine important to you?”  The residency program director documented a free-text summary of each response to this question, the accuracy of which was confirmed by the resident. We analyzed the text of each resident’s response after a review of the QI data suggested an association between responses and professionalism actions (retrospective cohort design). Two associate investigators blinded to all interview data, remedial actions, and resident identities categorized each text response as either self-focused (e.g., “I enjoy the challenge”) or other-focused (e.g., “I enjoy helping patients”).  Additional de-identified data collected included demographics, and expressed personal importance of politics and religion. The primary outcome was a Clinical Competency Committee professionalism remedial action.  

Results: Of 114 physicians starting residency during 2006-2013, 106 (93.0%) completed the interview. There was good inter-rater reliability in associate investigator categorization of resident responses as either self-focused or other-focused (kappa coefficient 0.85). Thirteen of 50 residents (26.0%) expressed self-focus versus three of 54 (5.4%) residents expressed other-focus experienced professionalism remedial actions (p<0.01). This association held in a logistic regression model controlling for measured confounders (p=0.02).  

Conclusion: Self-focused responses to the question “Why is Medicine important to you?” correlated with professionalism remedial actions during residency.


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Intern as Patient: A Patient Experience Simulation to Cultivate Empathy in Emergency Medicine Residents

Introduction: Prior work links empathy and positive physician-patient relationships to improved healthcare outcomes. The objective of this study was to analyze a patient experience simulation for emergency medicine (EM) interns as a way to teach empathy and conscientious patient care.

Methods: We conducted a qualitative descriptive study on an in situ, patient experience simulation held during EM residency orientation. Half the interns were patients brought into the emergency department (ED) by ambulance and half were family members. Interns then took part in focus groups that discussed the experience. Data collected during these focus groups were coded by two investigators using a grounded theory approach and constant comparative methodology.   

Results: We identified 10 major themes and 28 subthemes in the resulting qualitative data. Themes were in three broad categories: the experience as a patient or family member in the ED; application to current clinical practice; and evaluation of the exercise itself. Interns experienced firsthand the physical discomfort, emotional stress and confusion patients and families endure during the ED care process. They reflected on lessons learned, including the importance of good communication skills, frequent updates on care and timing, and being responsive to the needs and concerns of patients and families. All interns felt this was a valuable orientation experience.

Conclusion: Conducting a patient experience simulation may be a practical and effective way to develop empathy in EM resident physicians. Additional research evaluating the effect of participation in the simulation over a longer time period and assessing the effects on residents’ actual clinical care is warranted.

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ACGME Clinical and Educational Work Hour Standards: Perspectives and Recommendations from Emergency Medicine Educators

Introduction: The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors (CORD) were invited to contribute to the 2016 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s (ACGME) Second Resident Duty Hours in the Learning and Working Environment Congress. We describe the joint process used by ACEP and CORD to capture the opinions of emergency medicine (EM) educators on the ACGME clinical and educational work hour standards, formulate recommendations, and inform subsequent congressional testimony. 

Methods: In 2016 our joint working group of experts in EM medical education conducted a consensus-based, mixed-methods process using survey data from medical education stakeholders in EM and expert iterative discussions to create organizational position statements and recommendations for revisions of work hour standards. A 19-item survey was administered to a convenience sample of 199 EM residency training programs using a national EM educational listserv. 

Results: A total of 157 educational leaders responded to the survey; 92 of 157 could be linked to specific programs, yielding a targeted response rate of 46.2% (92/199) of programs. Respondents commented on the impact of clinical and educational work-hour standards on patient safety, programmatic and personnel costs, resident caseload, and educational experience. Using survey results, comments, and iterative discussions, organizational recommendations were crafted and submitted to the ACGME. 

Conclusion: EM educators believe that ACGME clinical and educational work hour standards negatively impact the learning environment and are not optimal for promoting patient safety or the development of resident professional citizenship.

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Fantastic Learning Moments and Where to Find Them

Introduction: Experiential learning is crucial for the development of all learners. Literature exploring how and where experiential learning happens in the modern clinical learning environment is sparse. We created a novel, web-based educational tool called “Learning Moment” (LM) to foster experiential learning among our learners. We used data captured by LM as a research database to determine where learning experiences were occuring within our emergency department (ED). We hypothesized that these moments would occur more frequently at the physician workstations as opposed to the bedside.

Methods: We implemented LM at a single ED’s medical student clerkship. The platform captured demographic data including the student’s intended specialty and year of training as well as “learning moments,” defined as logs of learner self-selected learning experiences that included the clinical “pearl,” clinical scenario, and location where the “learning moment” occurred. We presented data using descriptive statistics with frequencies and percentages. Locations of learning experiences were stratified by specialty and training level.

Results: A total of 323 “learning moments” were logged by 42 registered medical students (29 fourth-year medical students (MS 4) and 13 MS 3 over a six-month period. Over half (52.4%) intended to enter the field of emergency medicine (EM). Of these “learning moments,” 266 included optional location data. The most frequently reported location was patient rooms (135 “learning moments”, 50.8%). Physician workstations hosted the second most frequent “learning moments” (67, 25.2%). EM-bound students reported 43.7% of “learning moments” happening in patient rooms, followed by workstations (32.8%). On the other hand, non EM-bound students reported that 66.3% of “learning moments” occurred in patient rooms and only 8.4% at workstations (p<0.001).

Conclusion: LM was implemented within our ED as an innovative, web-based tool to fulfill and optimize the experiential learning cycle for our learners. In our environment, patient rooms represented the most frequent location of “learning moments,” followed by physician workstations. EM-bound students were considerably more likely to document “learning moments” occurring at the workstation and less likely in patient rooms than their non EM-bound colleagues.

The National Clinical Assessment Tool for Medical Students in the Emergency Department (NCAT-EM)

Introduction: Clinical assessment of medical students in emergency medicine (EM) clerkships is a highly variable process that presents unique challenges and opportunities. Currently, clerkship directors use institution-specific tools with unproven validity and reliability that may or may not address competencies valued most highly in the EM setting. Standardization of assessment practices and development of a common, valid, specialty-specific tool would benefit EM educators and students. 

Methods: A two-day national consensus conference was held in March 2016 in the Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine (CDEM) track at the Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine (CORD) Academic Assembly in Nashville, TN. The goal of this conference was to standardize assessment practices and to create a national clinical assessment tool for use in EM clerkships across the country. Conference leaders synthesized the literature, articulated major themes and questions pertinent to clinical assessment of students in EM, clarified the issues, and outlined the consensus-building process prior to consensus-building activities. 

Results: The first day of the conference was dedicated to developing consensus on these key themes in clinical assessment. The second day of the conference was dedicated to discussing and voting on proposed domains to be included in the national clinical assessment tool. A modified Delphi process was initiated after the conference to reconcile questions and items that did not reach an a priori level of consensus. 

Conclusion: The final tool, the National Clinical Assessment Tool for Medical Students in Emergency Medicine (NCAT-EM) is presented here.

Tit-For-Tat Strategy for Increasing Medical Student Evaluation Response Rates

Introducation: It is essential for faculty to receive feedback on their teaching for the purpose of improvement as well as promotion. It can be challenging to motivate students to provide feedback to preceptors and fill out evaluation forms when not a clerkship requirement. Furthermore, there is concern that making the evaluations a requirement can compromise the quality of the feedback. The objective of this study was to identify an increase in the number of faculty and resident evaluations completed by students rotating through their Emergency Medicine clerkship following the implementation of a tit-for-tat incentive strategy.

Method: Prior to the implementation of Tit-for-Tat, students rotating through their emergency medicine clerkship were asked to fill out evaluations of residents and faculty members with whom they worked. These were encouraged but voluntary. Beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year, a tit-for-tat strategy was employed whereby students had to complete a resident or faculty evaluation in order to view the student assessment completed by that resident or faculty preceptor.

Results: Students submitted 1101 evaluations in the control, with a mean of 3.60 evaluations completed per student and 3.77 evaluations received per preceptor. Following the implementation of tit-for-tat, students submitted 2736 evaluations, with a mean of 8.19 evaluations completed per student and 7.52 evaluations received per preceptor. Both the increase in evaluations completed per student and evaluations received per preceptor were statistically significant with p-value <0.001.

Conclusion: The tit-for-tat strategy significantly increased the number of evaluations submitted by students rotating through their emergency medicine clerkship. This has served as an effective tool to increase the overall number of evaluations completed, the number of evaluations each instructor received on average and the proportion of students that completed evaluations. Further work could be done to attempt to better assess the quality of the feedback from these evaluations.  [West J Emerg Med. 2017; XX(X)–0.]

Flipping the Classroom in Medical Student Education: Does Priming Work?

Introduction: The emergency medicine clerkship curriculum at Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center includes monthly lectures on pediatric fever and shortness of breath (SOB). This educational innovation evaluated if learning could be enhanced by “priming” the students with educational online videos prior to an in-class session. Factors that impacted completion rates were also evaluated (planned specialty and time given for video viewing).

Methods: Twenty minute videos were to be viewed prior to the didactic session. Students were assigned to either the fever or SOB group and received links to those respective videos. All participating students took a pre-test prior to viewing the online lectures. For analysis, test scores were placed into concordant groups (test results on fever questions in the group assigned the fever video and test results on SOB questions in the group assigned the SOB video) and discordant groups (crossover between video assigned and topic tested). Each subject contributed one set of concordant results and one set of discordant results. Descriptive statistics were performed with the Mann-Whitney U test. Lecture links were distributed to students two weeks prior to the in-class session for 7 months and three days prior to the in-class session for 8 months (in which both groups included both EM-bound and non-EM bound students).

Results: In the 15 months study period, 64% of students rotating through the EM elective prepared for the in class session by watching the videos. During 10 months where exclusively EM-bound students were rotating (n=144), 71.5% of students viewed the lectures. In 4 months where students were not EM-bound (n=54), 55.6% of students viewed the lectures (p=0.033). Participation was 60.2% when lecture links were given three days in advance and 68.7% when links were given two weeks in advance (p=0.197). In the analysis of concordant scores, the pre-test averaged 56.7% correct, the immediate post-test averaged 78.1% correct, and the delayed post-test was 67.2%. In the discordant groups, the pretest averaged 51.9%, the immediate posttest was 67.1% and the delayed by 68.8%. In the concordant groups, the immediate post-test scores improved by 21.4%, compared with 15.2% in the discordant groups (p = 0.655). In the delayed post-test the concordant scores improved by 10.5% and discordant scores by 16.9 percent (p=0.609). Sixty-two percent of students surveyed preferred the format of online videos with in-class case discussion to a traditional lecture format.

Conclusion: Immediate post-tests and delayed post-tests improved but priming was not demonstrated to be a statistically superior educational method in this study. Medical student completion of the preparatory materials for the emergency medicine rotation session increased when the students were emergency medicine-bound. Participation rates were not significantly different when given at 2 weeks versus 3 days.

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Does the Podcast Video Playback Speed Affect Comprehension for Novel Curriculum Delivery? A Randomized Trial

Introduction: Medical education is a rapidly evolving field that has been using new technology to improve how medical students learn. One of the recent implementations in medical education is the recording of lectures for the purpose of playback at various speeds. Though previous studies done via surveys have shown a subjective increase in the rate of knowledge acquisition when learning from sped-up lectures, no quantitative studies have measured information retention. The purpose of this study was to compare mean test scores on written assessments to objectively determine if watching a video of a recorded lecture at 1.5x speed was significantly different than 1.0x speed for the immediate retention of novel material.

Methods: Fifty-four University of Kentucky medical students volunteered to participate in this study. The subjects were divided into two separate groups: Group A and Group B. Each group watched two separate videos, the first at 1.5x speed and the second at 1.0x speed, then completed assessments following each. The topics of the two videos were ultrasonography artifacts and transducers. Group A watched the artifacts video first at 1.5x speed followed by the transducers video at 1.0x speed. Group B watched the transducers video first at 1.5x speed followed by the artifacts video at 1.0x speed. The percentage correct on the written assessment were calculated for each subject at each video speed. The mean and standard deviation were also calculated using a t-test to determine if there was a significant difference in assessment scores between 1.5x and 1.0x speeds.

Results: There was a significant (p=0.0188) detriment in performance on the artifacts quiz at 1.5x speed (mean 61.4; 95% confidence interval [CI]-53.9, 68.9) compared to the control group at normal speed (mean 72.7; 95% CI- 66.8, 78.6). On the transducers assessment, there was not a significant (p=0.1365) difference in performance in the 1.5x speed group (mean 66.9; CI- 59.8, 74.0) compared to the control group (mean 73.8; CI- 67.7, 79.8).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that, unlike previously published studies that showed subjective improvement in performance with sped-up video-recorded lectures compared to normal speed, objective performance may be worse. [West J Emerg Med. 2017;1(4)–0.]


Emergency Medicine Residency Applicant Characteristics Associated with Measured Adverse Outcomes During Residency

Introduction: Negative outcomes in emergency medicine (EM) programs use a disproportionate amount of educational resources to the detriment of other residents. We sought to determine if any applicant characteristics identifiable during the selection process are associated with negative outcomes during residency.

Methods: Primary analysis consisted of looking at the association of each of the descriptors including resident characteristics and events during residency with a composite measure of negative outcomes. Components of the negative outcome composite were any formal remediation, failure to complete residency, or extension of residency. 

Results: From a dataset of 260 residents who completed their residency over a 19-year period, 26 (10%) were osteopaths and 33 (13%) were international medical school graduates A leave of absence during medical school (p <.001), failure to send a thank-you note (p=.008), a failing score on United States Medical Licensing Examination Step I (p=.002), and a prior career in health (p=.034) were factors associated with greater likelihood of a negative outcome. All four residents with a “red flag” during their medicine clerkships experienced a negative outcome (p <.001).

Conclusion: “Red flags” during EM clerkships, a leave of absence during medical school for any reason and failure to send post-interview thank-you notes may be associated with negative outcomes during an EM residency.

  • 2 supplemental PDFs
  • 1 supplemental ZIP
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A Randomized Trial of SMART Goal Enhanced Debriefing after Simulation to Promote Educational Actions

Introduction: Goal setting is used in education to promote learning and performance. Debriefing after clinical scenario-based simulation is a well-established practice that provides learners a defined structure to review and improve performance. Our objective was to integrate formal learning goal generation, using the SMART framework (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound), into standard debriefing processes (i.e., “SMART Goal Enhanced Debriefing”) and subsequently measure the impact on the development of learning goals and execution of educational actions.

Methods: This was a prospective multicenter randomized controlled study of 80 emergency medicine residents at three academic hospitals comparing the effectiveness of SMART Goal Enhanced Debriefing to a standard debriefing. Residents were block randomized on a rolling basis following a simulation case. SMART Goal Enhanced Debriefing included five minutes of formal instruction on the development of SMART learning goals during the summary/application phase of the debrief. Outcome measures included the number of recalled learning goals, self-reported executed educational actions, and quality of each learning goal and educational action after a two-week follow-up period. 

Results: The mean number of reported learning goals was similar in the standard debriefing group (mean 2.05 goals, SD 1.13, n=37 residents), and in the SMART Goal Enhanced Debriefing group (mean 1.93, SD 0.96, n=43), with no difference in learning goal quality. Residents receiving SMART Goal Enhanced Debriefing completed more educational actions on average (Control group actions completed 0.97 (SD 0.87), SMART debrief group 1.44 (SD 1.03) p=0.03).

Conclusion: The number and quality of learning goals reported by residents was not improved as a result of SMART Goal Enhanced Debriefing. Residents did, however, execute more educational actions, which is consistent with the overarching intent of any educational intervention.

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Do End-of-Rotation and End-of-Shift Assessments Inform Clinical Competency Committees’ (CCC) Decisions?

Introduction: Clinical Competency Committees (CCC) require reliable, objective data to inform decisions regarding assignment of milestone proficiency levels, which must be reported to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. After the development of two new assessment methods, the end-of-shift (EOS) assessment and the end-of-rotation (EOR) assessment, we sought to evaluate their performance. We report data on the concordance between these assessments, as well as how each informs the final proficiency level determined in biannual CCC meetings. We hypothesized that there would be a high concordance level between the two assessment methods, including concordance of both the EOS and EOR with the final proficiency level designation by the CCC. 

Methods: The residency program is an urban academic four-year emergency medicine residency with 48 residents. After their shifts in the emergency department (ED), residents handed out EOS assessment forms asking about individual milestones from 15 subcompetencies to supervising physicians, as well as triggered electronic EOR-doctor (EORd) assessments to supervising doctors and EOR-nurse (EORn) to nurses they had worked with after each two-week ED block. EORd assessments contained the full proficiency level scale from 16 subcompetencies, while EORn assessments contained four subcompetencies. Data reports were generated after each six-month assessment period and data was aggregated. We calculated Spearman’s rank order correlations for correlations between assessment types and between assessments and final CCC proficiency levels.

Results: Over 24 months, 5,234 assessments were completed. The strongest correlations with CCC proficiency levels were the EORd for the immediate six-month assessment period prior (rs 0.71-0.84), and the CCC proficiency levels from the previous six-months (rs 0.83-0.92). EOS assessments had weaker correlations (rs 0.49 to 0.62), as did EORn (rs 0.4 to 0.73).

Conclusion: End-of-rotation assessments completed by supervising doctors are most highly correlated with final CCC proficiency level designations, while end-of-shift assessments and end-of-rotation assessments by nurses did not correlate strongly with final CCC proficiency levels, both with overestimation of levels noted. Every level of proficiency the CCC assigned appears to be highly correlated with the designated level in the immediate six-month period, perhaps implying CCC members are biased by previous level assignments. [West J Emerg Med.20XX;X(X)–0.]

Experience Within the Emergency Department and Improved Productivity for First-Year Residents in Emergency Medicine and Other Specialties

Introduction: Resident productivity is an important educational and operational measure in emergency medicine (EM). The ability to continue effectively seeing new patients throughout a shift is fundamental to an emergency physician’s development, and residents are integral to the workforce of many academic emergency departments (ED). Our previous work has demonstrated that residents make gains in productivity over the course of intern year; however, it is unclear whether this is from experience as a physician in general on all rotations, or specific to experience in the ED.

Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study, conducted in an urban academic hospital ED, with a three-year EM training program in which first-year residents see new patients ad libitum. We evaluated resident shifts for the total number of new patients seen. We constructed a generalized estimating equation to predict productivity, defined as the number of new patients seen per shift, as a function of the week of the academic year, the number of weeks spent in the ED, and their interaction. Off-service residents’ productivity in the ED was analyzed in a secondary analysis.

Results: We evaluated 7,779 EM intern shifts from 7/1/2010 to 7/1/2016. Interns started at 7.16 (95% confidence interval [CI] [6.87 – 7.45]) patients per nine-hour shift, with an increase of 0.20 (95% CI [0.17 – 0.24]) patients per shift for each week in the ED, over 22 weeks, leading to 11.5 (95% CI [10.6 – 12.7]) patients per shift at the end of their training in the ED. The effects of the week of the academic year and its interaction with weeks in the ED were not significant. We evaluated 2,328 off-service intern shifts, in which off-service residents saw 5.43 (95% CI [5.02 – 5.84]) patients per nine-hour shift initially, with 0.46 additional patients per week in the ED (95% CI [0.25 – 0.68]). The weeks of the academic year were not significant.

Conclusion: Intern productivity in EM correlates with time spent training in the ED, and not with experience on other rotations. Accordingly, an EM intern’s productivity should be evaluated relative to their aggregate time in the ED, rather than the time in the academic year.

Educational Advances

Replacing Lectures with Small Groups: The Impact of Flipping the Residency Conference Day

The flipped classroom, an educational alternative to the traditional lecture, has been widely adopted by educators at all levels of education and across many disciplines. In the flipped classroom, learners prepare in advance of the face-to-face meeting by learning content material on their own. Classroom time is reserved for application of the learned content to solving problems or discussing cases. Over the past year, we replaced most residency program lectures with small-group discussions using the flipped-classroom model, case-based learning, simulation and procedure labs. In the new model, residents prepared for conference by reviewing a patient case and studying suggested learning materials. Conference day was set aside for facilitated small-group discussions about the case.This is a cross-cohort study of emergency medicine residents who experienced the lecture-based curriculum to residents in the new flipped-classroom curriculum using paired comparisons (independent t-tests) on in-training exam scores while controlling for program year level. We also compared results of the evaluation of various program components. We observed no differences between cohorts on in-training examination scores. Small-group methods were rated the same across program years. Two program components in the new curriculum, an updated format of both adult and pediatric case conferences, were rated significantly higher on program quality. In preparation for didactics, residents in the new curriculum report spending more time on average with outside learning materials, including almost twice as much time reviewing textbooks. Residents found the new format of the case conferences to be of higher quality because of the inclusion of rapid-fire case discussions with targeted learning points.

Tracking Student Mistreatment Data to Improve the Emergency Medicine Clerkship Learning Environment

Introduction: Medical student mistreatment is a prevalent and significant challenge for medical schools across the country, associated with negative emotional and professional consequences for students. The Association of American Medical Colleges and Liaison Committee on Medical Education have increasingly emphasized the issue of mistreatment in recent years, and medical schools are tasked with creating a positive learning climate.

Methods: The authors describe the efforts of an emergency department (ED) to improve its clerkship learning environment, using a multifaceted approach for collecting mistreatment data and relaying them to educators and clerkship leadership. Data are gathered through end-of-rotation evaluations, teaching evaluations, and an online reporting system available to medical students. Mistreatment data are then relayed to the ED during semi-annual meetings between clerkship leadership and medical school assistant deans, and through annual mistreatment reports provided to department chairs.

Results: Over a two-year period, students submitted a total of 56 narrative comments related to mistreatment or unprofessional behavior during their emergency medicine (EM) clerkship. Of these comments, 12 were submitted in 2015-16 and 44 were submitted in 2016-17. The most frequently observed themes were students feeling ignored or marginalized by faculty (14 comments); students being prevented from speaking or working with patients and/or attending faculty (11 comments); and students being treated in an unprofessional manner by staff (other than faculty, 8 comments).

Conclusion: This article details an ED’s efforts to improve its EM clerkship learning environment by tracking mistreatment data and intentionally communicating the results to educators and clerkship leadership. Continued mistreatment data collection and faculty development will be necessary for these efforts to have a measurable effect on the learning environment.

Using Medical Student Quality Improvement Projects to Promote Evidence-Based Care in the Emergency Department

Introduction: The Association of American Medical Colleges’ (AAMC) initiative for Core Entrustable Professional Activities for Entering Residency includes as an element of Entrustable Professional Activity 13 to “identify system failures and contribute to a culture of safety and improvement.” We set out to determine the feasibility of using medical students’ action learning projects (ALPs) to expedite implementation of evidence-based pathways for three common patient diagnoses in the emergency department (ED) setting (Atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, and pulmonary embolism).

Methods: These prospective quality improvement (QI) initiatives were performed over six months in three Northeastern PA hospitals. Emergency physician mentors were recruited to facilitate a QI experience for third-year medical students for each project. Six students were assigned to each mentor and given class time and network infrastructure support (information technology, consultant experts in lean management) to work on their projects. Students had access to background network data that revealed potential for improvement in disposition (home) for patients.

Results: Under the leadership of their mentors, students accomplished standard QI processes such as performing the background literature search and assessing key stakeholders’ positions that were involved in the respective patient’s care. Students effectively developed flow diagrams, computer aids for clinicians and educational programs, and participated in recruiting champions for the new practice standard. They met with other departmental clinicians to determine barriers to implementation and used this feedback to help set specific parameters to make clinicians more comfortable with the changes in practice that were recommended. All three clinical practice guidelines were initiated at consummation of the students’ projects. After implementation, 86% (38/44) of queried ED providers felt comfortable with medical students being a part of future ED QI initiatives, and 84% (26/31) of the providers who recalled communicating with students on these projects felt they were effective.

Conclusion: Using this novel technique of aligning small groups of medical students with seasoned mentors, it is feasible for medical students to learn important aspects of QI implementation and allows for their engagement to more efficiently move evidence-based medicine from the literature to the bedside.[West J Emerg Med. 2017;19(1)–0.]

Exploratory Application of Augmented Reality/Mixed Reality Devices for Acute Care Procedure Training

Introduction: Augmented reality (AR), mixed reality (MR), and virtual reality devices are enabling technologies that may facilitate effective communication in healthcare between those with information and knowledge (clinician/specialist; expert; educator) and those seeking understanding and insight (patient/family; non-expert; learner). Investigators initiated an exploratory program to enable the study of AR/MR use-cases in acute care clinical and instructional settings.

Methods: Academic clinician educators, computer scientists, and diagnostic imaging specialists conducted a proof-of-concept project to 1) implement a core holoimaging pipeline infrastructure and open-access repository at the study institution, and 2) use novel AR/MR techniques on off-the-shelf devices with holoimages generated by the infrastructure to demonstrate their potential role in the instructive communication of complex medical information.

Results: The study team successfully developed a medical holoimaging infrastructure methodology to identify, retrieve, and manipulate real patients’ de-identified computed tomography and magnetic resonance imagesets for rendering, packaging, transfer, and display of modular holoimages onto AR/MR headset devices and connected displays. Holoimages containing key segmentations of cervical and thoracic anatomic structures and pathology were overlaid and registered onto physical task trainers for simulation-based “blind insertion” invasive procedural training. During the session, learners experienced and used task-relevant anatomic holoimages for central venous catheter and tube thoracostomy insertion training with enhanced visual cues and haptic feedback. Direct instructor access into the learner’s AR/MR headset view of the task trainer was achieved for visual-axis interactive instructional guidance.

Conclusion: Investigators implemented a core holoimaging pipeline infrastructure and modular open-access repository to generate and enable access to modular holoimages during exploratory pilot stage applications for invasive procedure training that featured innovative AR/MR techniques on off-the-shelf headset devices.

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Calling All Curators: A Novel Approach to Individualized Interactive Instruction

With the increasing influence of the “Free Open Access Medical Education” (FOAM or FOAMed) movement, it is critical that medical educators be engaged with FOAM in order to better inform and direct their learners, who likely regularly consume these materials. In 2012, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)/Residency Review Committee (RRC) began to permit 20% of emergency medicine (EM) residents’ didactics hours to be earned outside of weekly conference, as “Individualized Interactive Instruction” (III) credits.1 We describe a digital course in EM, “Asynchrony,” as an approach to FOAM to meet these III standards. Asynchrony is geared toward EM residents using FOAM and other online learning tools, curated by faculty into narrative, topic-specific educational modules. Each module requires residents to complete a topic assignment, participate in a discussion board, and pass a quiz to earn ACGME-approved III didactic credit; all of this is tracked and filed in an online learning management system.

Development of a Novel Ultrasound-guided Peritonsillar Abscess Model for Simulation Training

Introduction: Peritonsillar abscess (PTA) is the most common deep space infection of the head and neck presenting to emergency departments.1 No commercial PTA task trainer exists for simulation training. Thus, resident physicians often perform their first PTA needle aspiration in the clinical setting, knowing that carotid artery puncture and hemorrhage are serious and devastating complications. While several low-fidelity PTA task trainers have been previously described, none allow for ultrasound image acquisition.6-9 We sought to create a cost-effective and realistic task trainer that allows trainees to acquire both diagnostic ultrasound and needle aspiration skills while draining a peritonsillar abscess. 

Methods: We built the task trainer with low-cost, replaceable, and easily cleanable materials. A damaged airway headskin was repurposed to build the model. A mesh wire cylinder attached to a wooden base was fashioned to provide infrastructure. PTAs were simulated with a water and lotion solution inside a water balloon that was glued to the bottom of a paper cup. The balloon was fully submerged with ordnance gelatin to facilitate ultrasound image acquisition, and an asymmetric soft palate and deviated uvula were painted on top after setting. PTA cups were replaced after use. We spent eight hours constructing three task trainers and used 50 PTA cups for a total cost <$110.

Results: Forty-six emergency medicine (EM) residents performed PTA needle aspirations using the task trainers and were asked to rate ultrasound image realism, task trainer realism, and trainer ease of use on a five-point visual analog scale, with five being very realistic and easy. Sixteen of 46 (35%) residents completed the survey and reported that ultrasound images were representative of real PTAs (mean 3.41). They found the model realistic (mean 3.73) and easy to use (mean 4.08). Residents rated their comfort with the drainage procedure as 2.07 before and 3.64 after practicing on the trainer.

Conclusion: This low-cost, easy-to-construct simulator allows for ultrasound image acquisition while performing PTA needle aspirations and is the first reported of its kind. Educators from EM and otolaryngology can use this model to educate inexperienced trainees, thus ultimately improving patient safety in the clinical setting.

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Anything but Shadowing! Early Clinical Reasoning in Emergency Department Improves Clinical Skills

Introduction: Transitioning from the pre-clinical environment to clerkships poses a challenge to students and educators alike. Students along with faculty developed the Clinical Reasoning Elective (CRE) to provide pre-clinical students exposure to patients in the emergency department and the opportunity to build illness scripts and practice clinical skills with longitudinal mentorship in a low-stakes environment before entering clerkships. It is a voluntary program. Each year, the CRE has received overwhelming positive feedback from students. The objective of this study is to determine if the CRE improved students’ clinical skills and reported comfort in their skills. 

Methods: We examined the relationships between students’ self-reported participation in the CRE and their individual scores on a comprehensive clinical assessment (CCA) at the end of the pre-clerkship period. A total of 178 students took the CCA exam in 2016. Of these, 113 participated in the CRE and 65 did not. Seven students who participated in CRE did not complete the exit survey and were omitted from analysis. We performed unstandardized regressions and dichotomous (participants/nonparticipants) comparisons of means with t-tests. Survey of student reactions was collected. 

Results: Participants completed an average of 10 sessions over the course of the program (range=1-20). Involvement in the CRE was associated with significantly increased scores on Abdominal History; Pulmonary Physical Exam; Overall History-Taking; Overall Communication; and Overall Physical Exam (p<0.05). Nearly all students (97%) reported that the program offered opportunities to enhance clinical skills, increased their comfort with patients, and better prepared them for their clinical years.

Conclusion: There were measurable improvements in clinical skills performance for students who participated in CRE. As many schools seek to incorporate early clinical exposure to their curricula, this program provides a successful framework to provide meaningful clinical exposure to real patients that also shows objective benefits to students’ clinical skills.


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Interprofessional Emergency Training Leads to Changes in the Workplace

Introduction: Preventable mistakes occur frequently and can lead to patient harm and death. The emergency department (ED) is notoriously prone to such errors, and evidence suggests that improving teamwork is a key aspect to reduce the rate of error in acute care settings. Only a few strategies are in place to train team skills and communication in interprofessional situations. Our goal was to conceptualize, implement, and evaluate a training module for students of three professions involved in emergency care. The objective was to sensitize participants to barriers for their team skills and communication across professional borders.

Methods: We developed a longitudinal simulation-enhanced training format for interprofessional teams, consisting of final-year medical students, advanced trainees of emergency nursing and student paramedics. The training format consisted of several one-day training modules, which took place twice in 2016 and 2017. Each training module started with an introduction to share one’s roles, professional self-concepts, common misconceptions, and communication barriers. Next, we conducted different simulated cases. Each case consisted of a prehospital section (for paramedics and medical students), a handover (everyone), and an ED section (medical students and emergency nurses). After each training module, we assessed participants’ “Commitment to Change.” In this questionnaire, students were anonymously asked to state up to three changes that they wished to implement as a result of the course, as well as the strength of their commitment to these changes.

Results: In total, 64 of 80 participants (80.0%) made at least one commitment to change after participating in the training modules. The total of 123 commitments was evenly distributed over four emerging categories: communication, behavior, knowledge and attitude. Roughly one third of behavior- and attitude-related commitments were directly related to interprofessional topics (e.g., “acknowledge other professions’ work”), and these were equally distributed among professions. At the two-month follow-up, 32 participants (50%) provided written feedback on their original commitments: 57 of 62 (91.9%) commitments were at least partly realized at the follow-up, and only five (8.1%) commitments lacked realization entirely. 

Conclusion: A structured simulation-enhanced intervention was successful in promoting change to the practice of emergency care, while training teamwork and communication skills jointly.


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A Novel Approach to Medical Student Peer-assisted Learning Through Case-based Simulations

Introduction: Peer-assisted learning (PAL) is the development of new knowledge and skills through active learning support from peers. Benefits of PAL include introduction of teaching skills for students, creation of a safe learning environment, and efficient use of faculty time. We present a novel approach to PAL in an emergency medicine (EM) clerkship curriculum using an inexpensive, tablet-based app for students to cooperatively present and perform low-fidelity, case-based simulations that promotes accountability for student learning, fosters teaching skills, and economizes faculty presence.

Methods: We developed five clinical cases in the style of EM oral boards. Fourth-year medical students were each assigned a unique case one week in advance. Students also received an instructional document and a video example detailing how to lead a case. During the 90-minute session, students were placed in small groups of 3-5 students and rotated between facilitating their assigned cases and participating as a team for the cases presented by their fellow students. Cases were supplemented with a half-mannequin that can be intubated, airway supplies, and a tablet-based app (SimMon, $22.99) to remotely display and update vital signs. One faculty member rotated among groups to provide additional assistance and clarification. Three EM faculty members iteratively developed a survey, based on the literature and pilot tested it with fourth-year medical students, to evaluate the course.

Results: 135 medical students completed the course and course evaluation survey. Learner satisfaction was high with an overall score of 4.6 on a 5-point Likert scale. In written comments, students reported that small groups with minimal faculty involvement provided a safe learning environment and a unique opportunity to lead a group of peers. They felt that PAL was more effective than traditional simulations for learning. Faculty reported that students remained engaged and required minimal oversight. 

Conclusion: Unlike other simulations, our combination of brief, student-assisted cases using low-fidelity simulation provides a cost-, resource- and time-effective way to implement a medical student clerkship educational experience.


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A Cognitive Apprenticeship-Based Faculty Development Intervention for Emergency Medicine Educators

In just a few years of preparation, emergency medicine (EM) trainees must achieve expertise across the broad spectrum of skills critical to the practice of the specialty. Though education occurs in many contexts, much learning occurs on the job, caring for patients under the guidance of clinical educators. The cognitive apprenticeship framework, originally described in primary and secondary education, has been applied to workplace-based medical training. The framework includes a variety of teaching methods: scaffolding, modeling, articulation, reflection, and exploration, applied in a safe learning environment. Without understanding these methods within a theoretical framework, faculty may not apply the methods optimally. Here we describe a faculty development intervention during which participants articulate, share, and practice their own applications of cognitive-apprenticeship methods to learners in EM. We summarize themes identified by workshop participants, and provide suggestions for tailoring the application of these methods to varying levels of EM learners. The cognitive-apprenticeship framework allows for a common understanding of the methods used in clinical teaching toward independence. Clinical educators should be encouraged to reflect critically on their methods, while being offered the opportunity to share and learn from others.


Filling the Gap: Simulation-based Crisis Resource Management Training for Emergency Medicine Residents

Introduction: In today’s team-oriented healthcare environment, high-quality patient care requires physicians to possess not only medical knowledge and technical skills but also crisis resource management (CRM) skills. In emergency medicine (EM), the high acuity and dynamic environment makes CRM skills of physicians particularly critical to healthcare team success. The Accreditation Council of Graduate Medicine Education Core Competencies that guide residency program curriculums include CRM skills; however, EM residency programs are not given specific instructions as to how to teach these skills to their trainees. This article describes a simulation-based CRM course designed specifically for novice EM residents. 

Methods: The CRM course includes an introductory didactic presentation followed by a series of simulation scenarios and structured debriefs. The course is designed to use observational learning within simulation education to decrease the time and resources required for implementation. To assess the effectiveness in improving team CRM skills, two independent raters use a validated CRM global rating scale to measure the CRM skills displayed by teams of EM interns in a pretest and posttest during the course. 

Results: The CRM course improved leadership, problem solving, communication, situational awareness, teamwork, resource utilization and overall CRM skills displayed by teams of EM interns. While the improvement from pretest to posttest did not reach statistical significance for this pilot study, the large effect sizes suggest that statistical significance may be achieved with a larger sample size.

Conclusion: This course can feasibly be incorporated into existing EM residency curriculums to provide EM trainees with basic CRM skills required of successful emergency physicians. We believe integrating CRM training early into existing EM education encourages continued deliberate practice, discussion, and improvement of essential CRM skills.


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Preparing Emergency Medicine Residents to Disclose Medical Error Using Standardized Patients

Introduction: Emergency Medicine (EM) is a unique clinical learning environment. The American College of Graduate Medical Education Clinical Learning Environment Review Pathways to Excellence calls for “hands-on training” of disclosure of medical error (DME) during residency. Training and practicing key elements of DME using standardized patients (SP) may enhance preparedness among EM residents in performing this crucial skill in a clinical setting.

Methods: This training was developed to improve resident preparedness in DME in the clinical setting. Objectives included the following: the residents will be able to define a medical error; discuss ethical and professional standards of DME; recognize common barriers to DME; describe key elements in effective DME to patients and families; and apply key elements during a SP encounter. The four-hour course included didactic and experiential learning methods, and was created collaboratively by core EM faculty and subject matter experts in conflict resolution and healthcare simulation. Educational media included lecture, video exemplars of DME communication with discussion, small group case-study discussion, and SP encounters. We administered a survey assessing for preparedness in DME pre-and post-training. A critical action checklist was administered to assess individual performance of key elements of DME during the evaluated SP case. A total of 15 postgraduate-year 1 and 2 EM residents completed the training. 

Results: After the course, residents reported increased comfort with and preparedness in performing several key elements in DME. They were able to demonstrate these elements in a simulated setting using SP. Residents valued the training, rating the didactic, SP sessions, and overall educational experience very high. 

Conclusion: Experiential learning using SP is effective in improving resident knowledge of and preparedness in performing medical error disclosure. This educational module can be adapted to other clinical learning environments through creation of specialty-specific scenarios.