Faculty physicians and new physicians disagree about which procedures are essential to learn in medical school

Med Teach. 2009 Apr;31(4):342-7. doi: 10.1080/01421590802520964.


Background: Clinical procedures taught in the undergraduate medical curriculum are important for subsequent residency training and clinical practice. Published reports suggest that medical schools may not be adequately teaching procedures. This study identifies procedures considered essential by residents completing internship and by medical school faculty, and determines agreement on their importance for medical student education.

Methods: Two hundred and thirty-five physicians (184 new physicians who recently completed internship and 51 medical school teaching faculty) categorized 31 clinical procedures based on the importance for internship. New physicians who had completed internship reported the level of training received in medical school for each procedure.

Results: Survey responses were 76% (faculty) and 70% (new physicians who had completed internship). The faculty majority identified 14 procedures as 'Must Know.' New physicians disagreed on 8 of these and categorized an additional 5 as essential. There was 32% concordance for the 19 procedures identified by either group. New physicians reported 'Limited Hands-On Training' for all 19 procedures but 'Comprehensive Hands-On Training' for only two.

Conclusions: New physicians who have completed internship and medical school faculty do not agree on procedures essential for internship. A core educational list of 19 procedures was identified using the responses from these two groups.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence / standards*
  • Curriculum
  • Data Collection
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate
  • Faculty, Medical*
  • Humans
  • Physicians*
  • Schools, Medical*