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Development of an Undergraduate Medical Education Critical Care Content Outline Utilizing the Delphi Method

Smith, Andrew G. MD1; Brainard, Jason C. MD2; Campbell, Kristine A. MD, MSc1

doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000004086
Clinical Investigation: PDF Only

Objectives: No consensus exists on a standardized critical care content outline for medical student education. The aim of this research is to develop a national undergraduate medical education critical care content outline.

Design: The authors used a Delphi process to reach expert consensus on a content outline that identified the core critical care knowledge topics and procedural skills that medical students should learn prior to entering residency. Over three iterative rounds, the expert panel reached consensus on a critical care content outline.

Setting: An electronic survey of critical care medical educators, residency program directors, and residents in the United States.

Subjects: The expert panel included three groups as follows: 1) undergraduate medical education critical care educators, 2) residency program directors representing all core specialties, and 3) residents representing their core specialties.

Interventions: None.

Measurements and Main Results: The expert panel included 28 members. Experts represented the following medical specialties: anesthesiology, emergency medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, and surgery. Seventeen experts had subspecialty training in critical care. The expert panel identified 19 highly recommended critical care knowledge topics and procedural skills. These topics and procedural skills were grouped into five broad categories as follows: 1) neurologic, 2) respiratory, 3) cardiovascular, 4) renal and electrolytes, and 5) supplemental ICU topics. Bag-mask ventilation was the only procedural skill identified as highly recommended.

Conclusions: This study provides a national consensus undergraduate medical education critical care content outline. By including experts from multiple specialties, this content outline is meaningful for medical student education, independent of medical specialty. The content outline represents a first step in the development of a national undergraduate medical education critical care curriculum.

1Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT.

2Department of Anesthesiology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, CO.

Dr. Campbell’s institution received funding from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, State of Utah, Primary Children’s Hospital Foundation, and from expert testimony provided for clinical cases. The remaining authors have disclosed that they do not have any potential conflicts of interest.

This research was conducted at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

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