Procedural competency in emergency medicine: The current range of resident experience

Stephen R. Hayden, Edward A Panacek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Objectives: To evaluate the recorded range of procedures tracked by emergency medicine (EM) programs, and to determine whether differences in procedural experience occur in various types of residency or hospital settings. Methods: The program directors of 112 approved EM programs were asked to send actual procedure logs. The requested information included the average total number of a given procedure per graduating resident, for all procedures that were tracked. Data were categorized by program format, hospital type, and ED volume. To assess the global procedural experience among programs, a set of 22 'index procedures' were identified; all procedures the EM residency review committee (RRC-EM) required to be tracked were included in this set. The means per graduating resident for each index procedure were added together to generate a 'mean index procedure sum' (MIPS) per graduating resident for each residency program. These MIPSs for a residency were then compared by program formal, hospital type, and ED volume. A similar analysis was performed for all resuscitations, and a 'mean index resuscitation sum' (MIRS) per graduating resident was generated. Results: An overall response rate of 82% was achieved; a number of programs had not graduated a residency class and were not included. Sixty-five of 85 eligible programs (76%) provided procedural data. The average number of a given procedure per graduating resident (95% CI in parentheses) for selected procedures is as follows: oral intubation 65 (46 to 85), intubation unspecified 75 (62 to 87), nasal intubation 6 (4 to 9), cricothyroidotomy 2 (1 to 2), subclavian catheter 23 (16 to 30), chest tubes 17 (14 to 20), intraosseous line 2 (1 to 3), thoracotomy 3 (2 to 5), and vaginal deliveries 17 (13 to 21). The only statistically significant differences in subgroup comparisons were in diagnostic peritoneal lavage, trauma resuscitations, and pediatric medical resuscitations when compared by postgraduate year format, and intubation-unspecified and cricothyroidotomy when compared by hospital type. There was no statistically significant difference when MIPSs were compared by format, hospital type, or ED volume. Conclusions: To the authors' knowledge, this is the first study of the range of EM resident procedure experience across the spectrum of EM residency types and settings. Overall, there are few statistically significant differences in procedure experience among different program formats. Similar experiences are recorded in a variety of different hospital types or ED volumes. However, some programs report very limited EM resident experience with selected critical procedures. There is a large variation in the types and numbers of procedures recorded by EM programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)728-735
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1999


  • Emergency medicine
  • Procedure
  • Resident physician

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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