Emergency medicine residency training in electrocardiogram interpretation

Adit A. Ginde, Douglas M. Char

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives: A national survey of emergency medicine (EM) residency program directors (PDs) was conducted to review training and evaluation of residents in electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation and to assess the attitudes of PDs toward establishing national criteria for ECG competency. Methods: An eight-question multiple-part survey was mailed to all 122 EM PDs. The presence of a formal ECG curriculum, teaching formats, and methods to assess competency were queried. The PDs' opinions on developing a national ECG curriculum, standardized assessment tool, and competency requirement for graduation were solicited on a five-point Likert scale. Results: Surveys were received from 87 (71.3%) of the 122 EM residency programs. Of the responding programs, 56 (64.4%) had a formal ECG curriculum. Only 18 (20.7%) programs stated that they test for ECG competency, and even fewer, ten (11.5%) programs, require that residents prove competency to graduate. Although 32 (48.3%) PDs endorsed the idea of a national ECG curriculum, 51 (58.6%) opposed the implementation of a national ECG examination for EM. Similarly, 50 (57.5%) PDs opposed a national ECG competency requirement for graduation. Conclusions: While a majority of EM residency programs surveyed have a formal curriculum for ECG interpretation, less than a fourth formally test their residents or require proof of competency. The majority of residency PDs oppose the development of a national ECG examination or competency requirement for graduation. Implementation of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education directive for the demonstration of clinical competencies will be challenging given the current position of PDs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)738-742
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2003


  • Competency
  • Curriculum
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Emergency medicine
  • Residency
  • Training


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