Many medical students have difficulty correlating the principles of cardiorespiratory physiology with the practice of critical care medicine. We developed a workshop to make this transition easier. After a computer- administered preworkshop test, groups of four students intubated a dog, and inserted arterial, peripheral, and pulmonary artery catheters. After baseline cardiorespiratory variables were measured, noncardiogenic pulmonary edema was created by administration of oleic acid via the right atrial port of the pulmonary artery catheter. Measurements were repeated after equilibration and again during the application of 5, 10, and 15 cm H2O of positive end-expiratory pressure.
Monitoring techniques and calculation of physiologic variables and their significance were stressed; emphasis was also placed on the interrelationship between respiratory and cardiovascular manipulations. The educational validity of this workshop was confirmed by a significant improvement in the mean score of a post- workshop test over the mean preworkshop test score.