Michael T Fitch

Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (41)441.05 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Recent medical school graduates are expected to have procedure skills that were mastered during undergraduate training. Many new physicians report inadequate preparation for procedures and are uncomfortable performing them unsupervised. A framework for teaching procedures has been described; however, a formal curriculum based on this framework has not yet been presented. Based on 8 years of curriculum development and experience with over 900 students, we present the design and implementation of a successful clinical procedures curriculum, highlighting a series of important issues for educators to consider when implementing such a clinical training program. Student participation and outcomes data are presented within the framework of this longitudinal curriculum implemented at our institution.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Medical Science Educator
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    ABSTRACT: This article presents the proceedings of the 2012 Academic Emergency Medicine consensus conference breakout group charged with identifying areas necessary for future research regarding effectiveness of educational interventions for teaching emergency medicine (EM) knowledge, skills, and attitudes outside of the clinical setting. The objective was to summarize both medical and nonmedical education literature and report the consensus formation methods and results. The authors present final statements to guide future research aimed at evaluating the best methods for understanding and developing successful EM curricula using all types of educational interventions.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Academic Emergency Medicine
  • David Manthey · Michael Fitch
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Basic medical procedures have historically been taught at the bedside, without a formal curriculum. The supervision of basic procedures is often provided by the next most senior member of the health care team, who themselves may have very little experience. This approach does not allow for preparatory reading or deliberate practise of the procedure, and trainees often track the number of completed procedures as the only evidence of competency, without documented assessments of quality. Context: The conscious competence model is a learning paradigm for acquiring a new skill that can be applied to teaching medical procedures. There are multiple stages for effectively learning how to competently perform a procedure, which should not be distilled down into bedside demonstration alone. Learners can be guided through these stages to allow progression towards competency to perform a procedure unsupervised. Innovation: We propose a novel approach that divides procedural education into a four-step process that covers knowledge, experience, technical skill development and competency evaluation. The stages of competency outlined here can be tailored, with incremental expectations for any medical procedure and any level of learner. Implications: This educational paradigm alters the current structure of teaching procedures at any level of medical education, with the goals of better comprehension, skill retention and decreased adverse outcomes. Graded objectives based on learner level can be determined by educators for each clinical procedure. This four-step framework for teaching medical procedures will make the adage 'see one, do one, teach one' obsolete.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · The Clinical Teacher

  • No preview · Article · May 2012 · Athletic Training and Sports Health Care

  • No preview · Article · Mar 2012 · New England Journal of Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: OVERVIEW This supplement provides a summary of the teaching points that appear in the ac-companying video, which demonstrates the equipment and techniques used to per-form emergency pericardiocentesis in adults. INDICATIONS Pericardiocentesis is indicated as an emergency procedure in patients with cardiac tamponade. Accumulation of fluid in the pericardial sac can increase the pressure around the heart. The intrapericardial pressure then increases until it equals the right ventricular diastolic pressure and then the left ventricular diastolic pressure, which leads to impaired cardiac filling and decreased cardiac output. 1 The drop in cardiac output resulting from this increased pressure can be severe enough to cause pulseless electrical activity. Because of the distensibility of the pericardial sac, large amounts of fluid can accumulate gradually without hemodynamic effects. How-ever, rapid accumulation of a small amount of fluid may overwhelm the distensibil-ity of the pericardium with a rapid increase in intrapericardial pressure, leading to hemodynamic compromise. 2 The classic presentation of patients with pericardial tamponade includes Beck's triad of jugular venous distention from elevated systemic venous pressure, distant heart sounds, and hypotension. 3 Most patients will have at least one of these signs; all three rarely appear simultaneously, and then only briefly before cardiac arrest. Jugular venous distention can be difficult to assess in obese or hypovolemic patients. Distant heart sounds may signify a pericardial effusion but can also occur in re-sponse to obesity or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A pericardial friction rub may or may not be present, regardless of the size of the effusion, 1 but is often pres-ent with an inflammatory effusion. 2 Tachypnea is a common clinical finding in pa-tients with cardiac tamponade, 1 and dyspnea is the most frequently reported symp-tom on presentation, 4 with a sensitivity of about 87 to 88% for cardiac tamponade. 1,5 Other signs of cardiac tamponade include a pulsus paradoxus (a drop in sys-tolic pressure greater than 10 mm Hg during normal inspiration), an electrocar-diogram with a low-voltage QRS or electrical alternans, and Kussmaul's sign, in which there is increased jugular venous distention on inspiration. In most cases, acute pericardial fluid collection is not detected on chest radiography unless more than 200 ml of fluid has accumulated. Enlarged cardiac silhouettes are more likely to be seen in cases of postsurgical or chronic pericardial fluid collections. In such patients, the detection of cardiomegaly on chest radiography has a sensi-tivity of about 89% for cardiac tamponade. 1 The rate of pericardial fluid accumulation has a sizable effect on the rate of clinical decompensation. The pericardial sac normally contains 15 to 30 ml of se-rous fluid. 1 A patient with a rapidly accumulating pericardial effusion may present with severe respiratory distress, agitation, tachycardia, and hypotension, followed by quick progression to obtundation, bradycardia, and pulseless electrical activity. Pericardial tamponade can result from the accumulation of effusion fluids, blood, infectious purulent material, or gas within the pericardial space. Simple pericar-dial effusions with a single collection of serous fluid may be amenable to uncom-plicated pericardiocentesis, but drainage of more complex effusions, such as locu-lated collections of infectious material, may be more difficult. Patients at risk for pericardial tamponade include those with metastatic cancer, a history of mediastinal radiation, end-stage renal disease, recent cardiac surgery, or traumatic injury. Other causes of pericardial tamponade may include pericardi-tis, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, collagen vascular disease, and tuberculosis. 1 Pericardial tamponade should be considered as a possible cause of cardiac arrest with pulseless electrical activity. Bedside ultrasonography can be used to detect the presence of pericardial fluid and features of pericardial tamponade. Practitioners without ultrasound expertise should consider consultation with a qualified radiologist or cardiologist for as-sistance in interpreting diagnostic studies, depending on a patient's clinical cir-cumstances. The presence of pericardial fluid and the diastolic collapse of the right atrium or ventricle are diagnostic of pericardial tamponade. 1,2,5,6 Other find-ings that may further support this diagnosis include a dilated inferior vena cava without respiratory variations in size or changes in flow velocities across the tri-cuspid and mitral valves. 1,2,6 In patients with pericardial tamponade, emergency pericardiocentesis to aspi-rate pericardial fluid can restore normal cardiac function and peripheral perfu-sion. It can be a lifesaving procedure.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · New England Journal of Medicine
  • Elizabeth W Kelly · Michael T Fitch
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Spontaneous globe subluxation is an uncommon problem that develops acutely and can present with significant patient distress from ocular pain and vision loss. OBJECTIVES: To present an unusual case of recurrent spontaneous globe subluxation and describe several methods emergency physicians can use to reduce a subluxation. CASE REPORT: We describe a patient with recurrent spontaneous globe subluxation who presented to the Emergency Department with acute ocular pain and vision loss. The subluxation was emergently reduced, resolving the pain and restoring normal vision. Various manual reduction techniques are discussed. CONCLUSION: There are a number of manual reduction techniques used for treating spontaneous globe subluxation.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Journal of Emergency Medicine
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    Corey Heitz · Raymond Ten Eyck · Michael Smith · Michael Fitch
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this study is to identify (1) the current role of simulation in medical student emergency medicine (EM) education; (2) the challenges to initiating and sustaining simulation-based programs; and (3) educational advances to meet these challenges. We solicited members of the Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine (CDEM) e-mail list to complete a Web-based survey addressing the use of simulation in both EM clerkships and preclinical EM curricula. Survey elements addressed the nature of the undergraduate EM clerkship and utilization of simulation, types of technology, and barriers to increased use in each setting. CDEM members representing 60 EM programs on the list (80%) responded. Sixty-seven percent of EM clerkships are in the fourth year of medical school only and 45% are required. Fewer than 25% of clerkship core curriculum hours incorporate simulation. The simulation modalities used most frequently were high-fidelity models (79%), task trainers (55%), and low-fidelity models (30%). Respondents identified limited faculty time (88.7%) and clerkship hours (47.2%) as the main barriers to implementing simulation training in EM clerkships. Financial resources, faculty time, and the volume of students were the main barriers to additional simulation in preclinical years. A focused, stepwise application of simulation to medical student EM curricula can help optimize the ratio of student benefit to faculty time. Limited time in the curriculum can be addressed by replacing existing material with simulation-based modules for those subjects better suited to simulation. Faculty can use hybrid approaches in the preclinical years to combine simulation with classroom settings for either small or large groups to more actively engage learners while minimizing identified barriers.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2011 · The western journal of emergency medicine
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    Michael T Fitch · Hal H Atkinson · Cynthia A Burns · M Ann Lambros

    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association
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    James C. O'Neill · Bret A. Nicks · Michael T. Fitch
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    ABSTRACT: This educational resource provides the information and materials for a high-fidelity simulation case suitable for resident physicians in emergency medicine. This case is currently in use at our institution for emergency medicine residents completing required educational time in our Emergency Department Simulation Program. This case has been used for the past four years in our program and has recently been edited and expanded to its existing form. This high-fidelity patient simulation case involves a patient presenting with an unstable atrial tachycardia (Option #1 is atrial flutter; Option #2 is atrial fibrillation). Evaluation in the emergency department demonstrates a narrow-complex tachycardia and low blood pressure. Appropriate treatment with synchronized cardioversion will allow stabilization of the patient. Debriefing materials are provided to illustrate and stimulate discussion of the important concepts for diagnosing and treating patients with atrial tachycardias.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2010

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2010
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    Michael T Fitch · David E Manthey

    Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · Medical Education
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    Corey Heitz · Ashley Brown · James E Johnson · Michael T Fitch
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    ABSTRACT: Previous work shows feasibility for large group high-fidelity simulation with correlation to basic science in the preclinical curriculum. This project studies whether large group simulation leads to enhanced basic science learning. This was an educational performance study before and after high-fidelity simulation for first-year medical students. Basic neuroscience concepts were reinforced with simulation, and pretesting and posttesting were analysed along with summative exam results. The number correct was compared on a contingency table using the Mantel-Haenszel chi-squared test and same student correlation was accounted for with a 'Generalized Estimating Equations' model. The study included 112 students; three were excluded for missing data. Students showed statistically significant improvement on two of the four questions, and a nonsignificant improvement or equivalent performance on two questions. Students were significantly more likely to get all four responses correct on the posttest than on the pretest. Summative testing 11 days later had >80% correct responses for three factual recall questions and 58% correct responses for a single knowledge application question. Simulation is an effective teaching method for preclinical basic science education. Students demonstrated significant improvements after participating in a live interactive simulation scenario.
    Full-text · Article · May 2009 · Medical Teacher
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    Bret A Nicks · David E Manthey · Michael T Fitch
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives were to assess emergency physician (EP) understanding of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) core measures for community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) guidelines and to determine their self-reported effect on antibiotic prescribing patterns. A convenience sample of EPs from five medical centers in North Carolina was anonymously surveyed via a Web-based instrument. Participants indicated their level of understanding of the CMS CAP guidelines and the effects on their prescribing patterns for antibiotics. A total of 121 EPs completed the study instrument (81%). All respondents were aware of the CMS CAP guidelines. Of these, 95% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 92% to 98%) correctly understood the time-based guidelines for antibiotic administration, although 24% (95% CI = 17% to 31%) incorrectly identified the onset of this time period. Nearly all physicians (96%; 95% CI = 93% to 99%) reported institutional commitment to meet these core measures, and 84% (95% CI = 78% to 90%) stated that they had a department-based CAP protocol. More than half of the respondents (55%; 95% CI = 47% to 70%) reported prescribing antibiotics to patients they did not believe had pneumonia in an effort to comply with the CMS guidelines, and 42% (95% CI = 34% to 50%) of these stated that they did so more than three times per month. Only 40% (95% CI = 32% to 48%) of respondents indicated a belief that the guidelines improve patient care. Of those, this was believed to occur by increasing pneumonia awareness (60%; 95% CI = 52% to 68%) and improving hospital processes when pneumonia is suspected (86%; 95% CI = 80% to 92%). Emergency physicians demonstrate awareness of the current CMS CAP guidelines. Most physicians surveyed reported the presence of institutional protocols to increase compliance. More than half of EPs reported that they feel the guidelines led to unnecessary antibiotic usage for patients who are not suspected to have pneumonia. Only 40% of EPs believe that CAP awareness and expedient care resulting from these guidelines has improved overall pneumonia-related patient care. Outcome-based data for non-intensive care unit CAP patients are lacking, and EPs report that they prescribe antibiotics when they may not be necessary to comply with existing guidelines.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2009 · Academic Emergency Medicine
  • Michael T Fitch · Stephen Kearns · David E Manthey
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    ABSTRACT: Clinical procedures taught in the undergraduate medical curriculum are important for subsequent residency training and clinical practice. Published reports suggest that medical schools may not be adequately teaching procedures. This study identifies procedures considered essential by residents completing internship and by medical school faculty, and determines agreement on their importance for medical student education. Two hundred and thirty-five physicians (184 new physicians who recently completed internship and 51 medical school teaching faculty) categorized 31 clinical procedures based on the importance for internship. New physicians who had completed internship reported the level of training received in medical school for each procedure. Survey responses were 76% (faculty) and 70% (new physicians who had completed internship). The faculty majority identified 14 procedures as 'Must Know.' New physicians disagreed on 8 of these and categorized an additional 5 as essential. There was 32% concordance for the 19 procedures identified by either group. New physicians reported 'Limited Hands-On Training' for all 19 procedures but 'Comprehensive Hands-On Training' for only two. New physicians who have completed internship and medical school faculty do not agree on procedures essential for internship. A core educational list of 19 procedures was identified using the responses from these two groups.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2009 · Medical Teacher

  • No preview · Article · Jan 2009 · New England Journal of Medicine
  • Michael T. Fitch · Jerry Silver
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    ABSTRACT: In the years since their discovery, glial cells of the developing and mature central nervous system (CNS) have been extensively studied and recognized as important functional components of the brain and spinal cord, in addition to their role in the structural arrangement of the CNS. Glial cells of the central nervous system (CNS), as first described by Virchow (1846), were originally considered to be simply a mechanical framework to support neurons, as evidenced by their designation as “neuroglia,” which literally translated means “nerve glue” (Weigert, 1895). Injury to the central nervous system (CNS) in adult mammals leads to significant pathology associated with permanent disability. The reactivity of glial cells to injuries in the brain and spinal cord, including the importance of inflammatory influences, has been identified as one component of the failure of the nervous system to regenerate when healing occurs. This chapter will review selected aspects of reactive gliosis at the tissue, cellular, and molecular levels as it relates to oligodendrocyte, astrocyte, and microglial/macrophage responses to trauma and the abortive attempts of neuronal regeneration. The historical perspective and modem approaches detailed in this review will demonstrate that the field of glial cell biology has allowed us to go beyond purely mechanical considerations of the glial scar, and in doing so has provided new insights into the complex reactions and interactions of glial cells following injury that generate the generally nonpermissive nature of lesion sites in the adult CNS. Recent advances in the field have demonstrated that significant regeneration can occur when modifications to the inflammatory sequelae are made to create optimal conditions for axon growth.
    No preview · Chapter · Dec 2008
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    ABSTRACT: Many distal-extremity injuries can initially be managed in an outpatient setting with the use of basic splinting techniques. Splinting immobilizes injured extremities, prevents further injury, decreases pain and bleeding, and allows healing to begin. This video demonstrates splinting techniques for common injuries.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2008
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    Michael T Fitch · Alan E Jones

    Preview · Article · Nov 2008 · Academic Emergency Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Health care simulation includes a variety of educational techniques used to complement actual patient experiences with realistic yet artificial exercises. This field is rapidly growing and is widely used in emergency medicine (EM) graduate medical education (GME) programs. We describe the state of simulation in EM resident education, including its role in learning and assessment. The use of medical simulation in GME is increasing for a number of reasons, including the limitations of the 80-hour resident work week, patient dissatisfaction with being "practiced on," a greater emphasis on patient safety, and the importance of early acquisition of complex clinical skills. Simulation-based assessment (SBA) is advancing to the point where it can revolutionize the way clinical competence is assessed in residency training programs. This article also discusses the design of simulation centers and the resources available for developing simulation programs in graduate EM education. The level of interest in these resources is evident by the numerous national EM organizations with internal working groups focusing on simulation. In the future, the health care system will likely follow the example of the airline industry, nuclear power plants, and the military, making rigorous simulation-based training and evaluation a routine part of education and practice.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2008 · Academic Emergency Medicine

Publication Stats

2k Citations
441.05 Total Impact Points


  • 2007-2012
    • Wake Forest University
      • Department of Emergency Medicine
      Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
    • Wake Forest School of Medicine
      • Department of Emergency Medicine
      Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
  • 1997-2011
    • Case Western Reserve University
      • • Division of Hospital Medicine (MetroHealth Medical Center)
      • • Department of Neurosciences
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • 2008
    • University of Amsterdam
      • Department of Neurology
      Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 1998
    • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
      • Department of Neurosciences
      Cleveland, Ohio, United States
  • 1994
    • College of William and Mary
      • Department of Biology
      Williamsburg, VA, United States