Emergency Medicine Elective Impact on Third-Year Medical Student Specialty Choice
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Emergency Medicine (EM) is a competitive, sought-after specialty among medical students (1). National standardized curricula have been developed for both third-year (M3) and fourth-year (M4) rotations (2-3), however, there is variability in course implementation (4). Additionally, it is unclear to what extent earlier rotations help students choose a specialty. We developed a two-week elective course to allow M3 students exposure to EM earlier than previously allowed at our medical school. Students were asked to complete an entry survey describing their specialty interests and sources of influence. During the course, students were encouraged to observe the environment and speak to providers, staff, and patients about their experiences. Afterwards, students completed an exit survey. A total of 47 students completed the surveys during our study period. On the entry survey, 77% of students indicated they were considering EM as a career, and 38% indicated EM as their top choice. The other top specialties considered included Internal Medicine (21%), Pediatrics (14%), OB/GYN (11%), and Urology (10%). The most common resources used to help inform career choice included residents (26%) and other medical students (22%). Over the two-week course, students spent an average of 55 hours in the ED. On the exit survey, 83% of students indicated they were considering EM (difference from pre-survey of 6%, CI -10%-23%), 44% as their top choice. There were not enough observations to reach statistical significance, but there was a trend toward more students considering emergency medicine as a potential career and as their first choice.
1. Results and Data 2016 Main Residency Match. National Resident Matching Program; 2016. Available at: http://www.nrmp.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Main-Match-Results-and-Data-2016. Accessed August 8, 2016. 2. Manthey DE, Coates WC, Ander DS, et al. Report of the Task Force on National Fourth Year Medical Student Emergency Medicine Curriculum Guide. Ann Emerg Med. 2006;47(3):e1-7. 3. Tews MC, Wyte CM, Coltman M, et al. Developing a third-year emergency medicine medical student curriculum: a syllabus of content. Acad Emerg Med. 2011;18 Suppl 2:S36-40. 4. Mulcare MR, Suh EH, Tews M, Swan-sein A, Pandit K. Third-year medical student rotations in emergency medicine: a survey of current practices. Acad Emerg Med. 2011;18 Suppl 2:S41-7.
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