Medical student education in emergency medicine: Do students meet the national standards for clinical encounters of selected core conditions?

Jennifer Avegno, Amy Leuthauser, Joseph Martinez, Melissa Marinelli, Gale Osgood, Robert Satonik, Doug Ander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Background Establishing a core curriculum for undergraduate Emergency Medicine (EM) education is crucial to development of the specialty. The Clerkship Directors in Emergency Medicine (CDEM) National Curriculum Task Force recommended that all students in a 4th-year EM clerkship be exposed to 10 emergent clinical conditions. Objectives To evaluate the feasibility of encountering recommended core conditions in a clinical setting during a 4 th-year EM clerkship. Methods Students from three institutions participated in this ongoing, prospective observation study. Students' patient logs were collected during 4-week EM clerkships between July 2011 and June 2012. De-identified logs were reviewed and the number of patient encounters for each of the CDEM-identified emergent conditions was recorded. The percentage of students who saw each of the core complaints was calculated, as was the average number of core complaints seen by each. Results Data from 130 students at three institutions were captured; 15.4% of students saw all 10 conditions during their rotation, and 76.9% saw at least eight. The average number of conditions seen per student was 8.4 (range of 7.0-8.6). The percentage of students who saw each condition varied, ranging from 100% (chest pain and abdominal pain) to 31% (cardiac arrest). Conclusions Most students do not encounter all 10 conditions during patient encounters throughout a 4-week EM rotation, although most have exposure to at least eight. Certain conditions are far less likely than others to be encountered, and may need to be taught in a nonclinical setting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)328-332
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • clinical conditions
  • education
  • medical student

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

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