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This is the fourth book from the ALiEM team, which compiles the nine cases from the fourth year of the popular ALiEM Medical Education in Cases series (www.aliem.com/medic)
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Introduction Benefits of post-simulation debriefings as an educational and feedback tool have been widely accepted for nearly a decade. Real-time, non-critical incident debriefing is similar to post-simulation debriefing; however, data on its practice in academic emergency departments (ED), is limited. Although tools such as TeamSTEPPS® (Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety) suggest debriefing after complicated medical situations, they do not teach debriefing skills suited to this purpose. Anecdotal evidence suggests that real-time debriefings (or non-critical incident debriefings) do in fact occur in academic EDs;, however, limited research has been performed on this subject. The objective of this study was to characterize real-time, non-critical incident debriefing practices in emergency medicine (EM). Methods We conducted this multicenter cross-sectional study of EM attendings and residents at four large, high-volume, academic EM residency programs in New York City. Questionnaire design was based on a Delphi panel and pilot testing with expert panel. We sought a convenience sample from a potential pool of approximately 300 physicians across the four sites with the goal of obtaining >100 responses. The survey was sent electronically to the four residency list-serves with a total of six monthly completion reminder emails. We collected all data electronically and anonymously using SurveyMonkey.com; the data were then entered into and analyzed with Microsoft Excel. Results The data elucidate various characteristics of current real-time debriefing trends in EM, including its definition, perceived benefits and barriers, as well as the variety of formats of debriefings currently being conducted. Conclusion This survey regarding the practice of real-time, non-critical incident debriefings in four major academic EM programs within New York City sheds light on three major, pertinent points: 1) real-time, non-critical incident debriefing definitely occurs in academic emergency practice; 2) in general, real-time debriefing is perceived to be of some value with respect to education, systems and performance improvement; 3) although it is practiced by clinicians, most report no formal training in actual debriefing techniques. Further study is needed to clarify actual benefits of real-time/non-critical incident debriefing as well as details on potential pitfalls of this practice and recommendations for best practices for use.
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Importance Medical students are at high risk for depression and suicidal ideation. However, the prevalence estimates of these disorders vary between studies. Objective To estimate the prevalence of depression, depressive symptoms, and suicidal ideation in medical students. Data Sources and Study Selection Systematic search of EMBASE, ERIC, MEDLINE, psycARTICLES, and psycINFO without language restriction for studies on the prevalence of depression, depressive symptoms, or suicidal ideation in medical students published before September 17, 2016. Studies that were published in the peer-reviewed literature and used validated assessment methods were included. Data Extraction and Synthesis Information on study characteristics; prevalence of depression or depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation; and whether students who screened positive for depression sought treatment was extracted independently by 3 investigators. Estimates were pooled using random-effects meta-analysis. Differences by study-level characteristics were estimated using stratified meta-analysis and meta-regression. Main Outcomes and Measures Point or period prevalence of depression, depressive symptoms, or suicidal ideation as assessed by validated questionnaire or structured interview. Results Depression or depressive symptom prevalence data were extracted from 167 cross-sectional studies (n = 116 628) and 16 longitudinal studies (n = 5728) from 43 countries. All but 1 study used self-report instruments. The overall pooled crude prevalence of depression or depressive symptoms was 27.2% (37 933/122 356 individuals; 95% CI, 24.7% to 29.9%, I² = 98.9%). Summary prevalence estimates ranged across assessment modalities from 9.3% to 55.9%. Depressive symptom prevalence remained relatively constant over the period studied (baseline survey year range of 1982-2015; slope, 0.2% increase per year [95% CI, −0.2% to 0.7%]). In the 9 longitudinal studies that assessed depressive symptoms before and during medical school (n = 2432), the median absolute increase in symptoms was 13.5% (range, 0.6% to 35.3%). Prevalence estimates did not significantly differ between studies of only preclinical students and studies of only clinical students (23.7% [95% CI, 19.5% to 28.5%] vs 22.4% [95% CI, 17.6% to 28.2%]; P = .72). The percentage of medical students screening positive for depression who sought psychiatric treatment was 15.7% (110/954 individuals; 95% CI, 10.2% to 23.4%, I² = 70.1%). Suicidal ideation prevalence data were extracted from 24 cross-sectional studies (n = 21 002) from 15 countries. All but 1 study used self-report instruments. The overall pooled crude prevalence of suicidal ideation was 11.1% (2043/21 002 individuals; 95% CI, 9.0% to 13.7%, I² = 95.8%). Summary prevalence estimates ranged across assessment modalities from 7.4% to 24.2%. Conclusions and Relevance In this systematic review, the summary estimate of the prevalence of depression or depressive symptoms among medical students was 27.2% and that of suicidal ideation was 11.1%. Further research is needed to identify strategies for preventing and treating these disorders in this population.
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Context: Direct observation promises to strengthen both coaching and assessment, and calls for its increased use in medical training abound. Despite its apparent potential, the uptake of direct observation in medical training remains surprisingly limited outside the formal assessment setting. The limited uptake of observation raises questions about cultural barriers to its use. In this study, we explore the influence of professional culture on the use of direct observation within medical training. Methods: Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, we interviewed 22 residents or fellows (10 male, 12 female) about their experiences of being observed during training. Participants represented a range of specialties and training levels. Data collection and analysis were conducted iteratively. Themes were identified using constant comparative analysis. Results: Observation was used selectively; specialties tended to observe the clinical acts that they valued most. Despite these differences, we found two cultural values that consistently challenged the ready implementation of direct observation across specialties: (i) autonomy in learning and (ii) efficiency in health care provision. Furthermore, we found that direct observation was a primarily learner-driven activity, which left learners caught in the middle, wanting observation but also wanting to appear independent and efficient. Conclusions: The cultural values of autonomy in learning and practice and efficiency in health care provision challenge the integration of direct observation into clinical training. Medical learners are often expected to ask for observation, but such requests are socially and culturally fraught, and likely to constrain the wider uptake of direct observation.
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Background: Many clinical educators feel unprepared and/or unwilling to report unsatisfactory trainee performance. This systematic review consolidates knowledge from medical, nursing, and dental literature on the experiences and perceptions of evaluators or assessors with this failure to fail phenomenon. Methods: We searched the English language literature in CINAHL, EMBASE, and MEDLINE from January 2005 to January 2015. Qualitative and quantitative studies were included. Following our review protocol, registered with BEME, reviewers worked in pairs to identify relevant articles. The investigators participated in thematic analysis of the qualitative data reported in these studies. Through several cycles of analysis, discussion and reflection, the team identified the barriers and enablers to failing a trainee. Results: From 5330 articles, we included 28 publications in the review. The barriers identified were (1) assessor's professional considerations, (2) assessor's personal considerations, (3) trainee related considerations, (4) unsatisfactory evaluator development and evaluation tools, (5) institutional culture and (6) consideration of available remediation for the trainee. The enablers identified were: (1) duty to patients, to society, and to the profession, (2) institutional support such as backing a failing evaluation, support from colleagues, evaluator development, and strong assessment systems, and (3) opportunities for students after failing. Discussion/conclusions: The inhibiting and enabling factors to failing an underperforming trainee were common across the professions included in this study, across the 10 years of data, and across the educational continuum. We suggest that these results can inform efforts aimed at addressing the failure to fail problem.
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Background In addition to training future members of the profession, medical schools perform the critical role of identifying students who are failing to meet minimum standards in core competencies. Objective To better understand reasons for failure in an internal medicine clerkship. DesignA qualitative content analysis of letters describing reasons for students’ failure. ParticipantsForty-three students (31 men) who failed the internal medicine clerkship at the University of Minnesota Medical School, 2002–2013. ApproachWe conducted a qualitative content analysis of the 43 letters describing reasons for students’ failure. We coded critical deficiencies and mapped them to the Physician Competency Reference Set (PCRS) competency domains and classified them into two categories: conduct (unprofessional behaviors) and knowledge and skills specific to the practice of medicine. We then calculated the frequency of each critical deficiency. We statistically tested for relationships between gender and critical deficiencies in each of the competency domains. Key ResultsWe coded 50 critical deficiencies with all codes mapping to a PCRS competency domain. The most frequently cited deficiencies were “insufficient knowledge” (79 % of students) and “inadequate patient presentation skills” (74 %). Students exhibited critical deficiencies in all eight competency domains, with the highest concentrations in Knowledge for Practice (98 %) and Interpersonal and Communication Skills (91 %). All students demonstrated deficiencies in multiple competencies, with 98 % having deficiencies in three or more. All 43 students demonstrated deficits in the knowledge and skills category, and 81 % had concurrent conduct issues. There were no statistically significant relationships between gender and critical deficiencies in any competency domain. Conclusions This study highlights both the diversity and commonality of reasons that students fail a clinical clerkship. Knowing the range of areas where students struggle, as well as the most likely areas of difficulty, may aid faculty in identifying students who are failing and in developing remediation strategies.
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In October 1995, the Association of American Medical Colleges held its first Conference on Students' and Residents' Ethical and Professional Development. In a plenary session and break-out sessions, the 150 participants, representing a wide variety of medical and professional specialties and roles, discussed the factors and programs that affect medical trainees' development of ethical and professional standards of behavior. The main challenge of addressing students' professional development is the enormous range of influences on that development, many of which, such as the declines in civic responsibility and good manners throughout the United States, fall outside the scope of academic medicine. Nonetheless, many influences fall within reach of medical educators. In a pre-conference survey, participants ranked eight issues related to graduating ethical physicians. The respondents ranked highest the inadequacy of the understanding of how best to influence students' ethical development, followed by faculty use of dehumanizing coping mechanisms, and the "business" of medicine's taking precedence over academic goals. The plenary speakers discussed the "informal curriculum" and the "hidden curriculum" and the need for medical faculty to take seriously the great influence they have on students' and residents' moral and professional development as they become physicians. Whether consciously or not, medical education programs are producing physicians who do not meet the ethical standards the profession has traditionally expected its members to meet. In three series of break-out sessions, the participants analyzed the nature of the ethical dilemmas that medical students and residents face from virtually the first day of their training, the use of role playing in promoting ethical development, and ways to improve policies and overcome barriers to change.
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The expectation for graduate medical education programs to ensure that trainees are progressing toward competence for unsupervised practice prompted requirements for a committee to make decisions regarding residents' progress, termed a clinical competency committee (CCC). The literature on the composition of these committees and how they share information and render decisions can inform the work of CCCs by highlighting vulnerabilities and best practices.Background We conducted a narrative review of the literature on group decision making that can help characterize the work of CCCs, including how they are populated and how they use information.Objective English language studies of group decision making in medical education, psychology, and organizational behavior were used.Methods The results highlighted 2 major themes. Group member composition showcased the value placed on the complementarity of members' experience and lessons they had learned about performance review through their teaching and committee work. Group processes revealed strengths and limitations in groups' understanding of their work, leader role, and information-sharing procedures. Time pressure was a threat to the quality of group work.Results Implications of the findings include the risks for committees that arise with homogeneous membership, limitations to available resident performance information, and processes that arise through experience rather than deriving from a well-articulated purpose of their work. Recommendations are presented to maximize the effectiveness of CCC processes, including their membership and access to, and interpretation of, information to yield evidence-based, well-reasoned judgments.Conclusions
Article
The transition to competency-based medical education (CBME) and adoption of the foundational domains of competence by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and American Board of Medical Specialties' certification and maintenance of certification (MOC) programs provided an unprecedented opportunity for the pediatrics community to create a model of learning and assessment across the continuum. Two frameworks for assessment in CBME have been promoted: (1) entrustable professional activities (EPAs) and (2) milestones that define a developmental trajectory for individual competencies. EPAs are observable and measureable units of work that can be mapped to competencies and milestones critical to performing them safely and effectively.The pediatrics community integrated the two frameworks to create a potential pathway of learning and assessment across the continuum from undergraduate medical education (UME) to graduate medical education (GME) and from GME to practice. The authors briefly describe the evolution of the Pediatrics Milestone Project and the process for identifying EPAs for the specialty and subspecialties of pediatrics. The method of integrating EPAs with competencies and milestones through a mapping process is discussed, and an example is provided. The authors illustrate the alignment of the AAMC's Core EPAs for Entering Residency with the general pediatrics EPAs and, in turn, the alignment of the latter with the subspecialty EPAs, thus helping build the bridge between UME and GME. The authors propose how assessment in GME, based on EPAs and milestones, can guide MOC to complete the bridge across the education continuum.