The impact of current experience, level of training, and post-call status on student and resident examination results during a surgical ICU rotation.
ABSTRACT There are currently few data regarding the rate of learning for medical students and residents during a single clinical rotation. In this study, learner knowledge acquisition for medical students, and junior and senior residents, was evaluated during a single rotation in a surgical intensive care unit. Multiple-choice and short-answer question examinations (n = 261) were administered to students, and junior and senior residents (n = 103) at variable times during their rotation, over a period of 3 years. Results demonstrated that examination scores improved as ICU experience increased, in both students and junior residents, but not in senior residents. The learning curve in juniors reached a plateau after 7 weeks' experience. Post-call status had no impact on examination results. The plateau in examination scores in juniors and the lack of increase in senior residents have implications regarding planning the length of rotations during residency education.