Effectiveness of current teaching methods in Cardiology: The SKILLS (medical Students Knowledge Integration of Lower Level clinical Skills) study
Lavranos, Giagkos M.
Koliaki, Chrysi C.
Stefanadis, Christodoulos I.
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Introduction: The aim of the study is to assess reported changes in medical students' capacity to attain five basic cardiological clinical skills, following a one-month intensive cardiology course provisioned in the core curriculum. Materials and Methods: An anonymous questionnaire comprising self reported performance in the five skills, namely 1) arterial blood pressure measurement, 2) cardiac auscultation, 3) electrocardiogram (ECG) carry out, 4) ECG interpretation and 5) defibrillation, was distributed to 177 fifth year students of the Athens Medical School upon initiating the cardiology course (pre-training group) and to 59 students matched for sex, age, year of study and training centre, following completion of the course (post training group). Comparison of pre- and post- training performance was evaluated using the χ2 test. Results: No change was noted with regards to blood pressure measurement, cardiac auscultation or defibrillation. By contrast, a statistically significant improvement was reported for ECG execution (54.3 versus 81.4%; p<0.001) and interpretation (from 33.1 to 89.8%; p<0.001). Conclusion: Improvement in the execution and interpretation of ECGs seems to be among the strengths of the cardiology training program. Further studies including larger samples from multiple medical schools and objective assessment of skill execution might facilitate accurate training evaluation and define opportunities for improvement.