Procedural and interpretive skills of medical students: experiences and attitudes of fourth-year students.

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Recent data do not exist regarding fourth-year medical students' performance of and attitudes toward procedural and interpretive skills, and how these differ from third-year students'. METHOD: Cross-sectional survey conducted in February 2006 of 122 fourth-year students from seven U.S. medical schools, compared with their responses in summer 2005. Students estimated their cumulative performance of 22 skills and reported self-confidence and perceived importance using a five-point Likert-type scale. RESULTS: The response rate was 79% (96/122). A majority reported never having performed cardioversion, thoracentesis, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, blood culture, purified protein derivative placement, or paracentesis. One fifth of students had never performed peripheral intravenous catheter insertion, phlebotomy, or arterial blood sampling. Students reported increased cumulative performance of 17 skills, increased self-confidence in five skills, and decreased perceived importance in three skills (two-sided P < .05). CONCLUSIONS: A majority of fourth-year medical students still have never performed important procedures, and a substantial minority have not performed basic procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S63-67
JournalAcademic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges
Issue number10 Suppl
StatePublished - Oct 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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