Purpose: The University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville has incorporated Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) training into the first semester curriculum with students becoming state-certified EMTs and completing one ambulance shift per month throughout their pre-clerkship years. Although there have been programs that have reported EMT experiences in the pre-clinical years of medical education, student perceptions of how the EMT experiences help prepare them for board exams and clerkships is limited. Therefore, the aim of this study was to measure student perceptions regarding the impact of an EMT course and training in the pre-clerkship curriculum in medical school on helping prepare them for national board exams (ie USMLE® Step 1, 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK), 2 Clinical Skills (CS)) and clerkship rotations.
Methods: Second-, third-, and fourth-year medical students at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville completed an anonymous voluntary survey with response rates of 66.3%, 55.2%, and 56.9%, respectively. The study was reviewed and exempted by the University of South Carolina Institutional Review Board.
Results: Seventeen percent, 14%, and 41% of students agreed/strongly agreed an EMT course helped prepare them for the USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS exam, respectively. Sixty-four percent of students agreed/strongly agreed that an EMT course and experience helped prepare them for clerkship rotations.
Conclusion: The findings in this study support EMT training and experience as an EMT as one method to help prepare students for clerkship rotations.
Keywords: USMLE Step 1; USMLE Step 2 CK; USMLE Step 2 CS; clinical preparation; emergency medical technician; medical school curriculum.
© 2022 Conrad et al.