Approximately 6.5 million Americans suffer from nonhealing wounds. As physicians are increasingly expected to manage chronic wounds, the degree to which formalized wound care education exists as a clinical rotation is unclear. For the first time, the prevalence and characteristics of formal wound electives offered by US medical schools are documented. Online surveys were distributed to 134 US medical schools and to the 74 medical students who completed the wound healing elective at the University of Miami regarding their experiences. School response rate was 41% (n=55). We found that out of 55 schools, only 7 schools offered a formal wound healing elective. The University of Miami was the only school to include a surgical component. Students' response rate was 39% (n=29). After completing the elective, 20 students (69%) felt confident in their knowledge of surgical and medical wound management. A majority of students (76%, n=22) felt that the elective was an important part of the medical school curriculum. In conclusion, we found very few schools offer a formal wound elective and recommend medical schools in formalizing this education through clinical electives. Education should be team-based and multidisciplinary; evidence exists that this is the best approach to managing chronic wounds. Basic tenets of wound care, both medical and surgical, should be emphasized.
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