Scientific article
Open access

Emergency medicine training: a prospective, comparative study of an undergraduate clinical clerkship and an army programme

Published inSchweizerische medizinische Wochenschrift, vol. 139, no. 29-30, p. 423-429
Publication date2009

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate and compare the educational impact of the University of Geneva Faculty of Medicine (UGFM) emergency medicine clerkship training with that provided by the Swiss Army medical officer cadets school (ARMY). The assessment was designed to assess students' clinical knowledge and competency in major emergency situations, ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and ATLS (Advanced Traumatic Life Support). METHODS: Prospectively, 56 UGFM students were compared with 52 ARMY officer cadets by a multiformat pre- and post-training examination. The exam consisted of a multiple-choice questionnaire (MCQ), a standardised vignette-based oral exam (SOE) and a standardised practical cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) exercise. RESULTS: Overall, on the pre- and post-training testing, total scores improved significantly for the UGFM by 10% (from 63 to 73%) and for the ARMY by 9% (from 60 to 69%). Knowledge assessed on the MCQ improved for the UGFM by 8% (64 to 72%) but not significantly for the ARMY. Performance on the SOE improved by 10% for UGFM (54 to 64%) and the ARMY (47 to 57%) as well as performance on the CPR, which improved by 15% for UGFM (72 to 87%) and 19% for the ARMY (67 to 86%). Post-training performance indicated that, respectively, UGFM scored significantly higher than the ARMY on the MCQ (72 and 68%) and the SOE (64 and 57%) but not on the CPR. Internal reliability indexes for the MCQ, SOE and CPR were respectively 0.72, 0.86 and 0.92. Correlations between the MCQ, SOE and CPR varied between 0.07 to 0.19. CONCLUSIONS: In general, the multimethod assessment seemed to provide a complementary approach to evaluation of the trainees' competency in emergency training. Except for the ARMY MCQ performance, both training programmes seemed to be effective in improving trainees' overall knowledge and clinical performance. The trainees' performances are reviewed and discussed in terms of the specific skills assessed on the SOE, the context of the trainees' expected level of performance, the teaching and evaluation approaches, and implications in establishing the equivalence of the two programmes.

  • Advanced Cardiac Life Support/education
  • Clinical Clerkship
  • Clinical Competence
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate/methods
  • Educational Measurement
  • Emergency Medicine/education
  • Humans
  • Military Medicine/education
  • Problem-Based Learning
  • Prospective Studies
  • Switzerland
Citation (ISO format)
SAXER, Till Alexandre et al. Emergency medicine training: a prospective, comparative study of an undergraduate clinical clerkship and an army programme. In: Schweizerische medizinische Wochenschrift, 2009, vol. 139, n° 29-30, p. 423–429.
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0036-7672

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