Procedural and interpretive skills of medical students: Experiences and attitudes of third-year students

Edward H. Wu, D. Michael Elnicki, Eric J. Alper, James E. Bost, Eugene C. Corbett, Mark J. Fagan, Alex Mechaber, Paul E. Ogden, James L. Sebastian, Dario M. Torre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background: Recent data do not exist on medical students' performance of and attitudes toward procedural and interpretive skills deemed important by medical educators. Method: A total of 171 medical students at seven medical schools were surveyed regarding frequency of performance, selfconfidence, and perceived importance of 21 procedural and interpretive skills. Results: Of the 122 responding students (71% response rate), a majority had never performed lumbar puncture, thoracentesis, paracentesis, or blood culture, and students reported lowest self-confidence in these skills. At least one-quarter of students had never performed phlebotomy, peripheral intravenous catheter insertion, or arterial blood sampling. Students perceived all 21 skills as important to learn and perform during medical school. Conclusion: Through the third year of medical school, a majority of students had never performed important procedures, and a substantial minority had not performed basic procedures. Students had low selfconfidence in skills they rarely performed, but perceived all skills surveyed as important.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S48-S51
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number10 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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