Aim: To describe a course designed to help medical undergraduates develop the necessary competencies to recognise and manage acutely ill patients.
Materials and methods: Primary description by the authors of the content, development and implementation of a course designed to teach competencies recommended by the Acute Care Undergraduate Teaching (ACUTE) project of the Resuscitation Council (UK) and Intercollegiate Board of Training in Intensive Care Medicine. The course format was designed to balance best teaching methods within the context of limited available teaching time and resources. Various components of the course were rated by 155 final year medical students who attended the course.
Results: A one and a half day integrated acute care course based on self-learning (course manual, CD-ROM, web material), lectures, interactive tutorials, skill stations and formative and summative assessment is described. The course addresses 55/71 (77%) of competencies considered important by the ACUTE project. It was well accepted by medical students and on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent) median student ratings of various components of the course ranged from 4-5.
Conclusion: The course offers a method of teaching acute care for medical undergraduates in an educationally sound, resource-efficient manner.