• Feasibility of Spanish-language acquisition for acute medical care providers: novel curriculum for emergency medicine residencies

      Grall, Kriti H; Panchal, Ashish R; Chuffe, Eliud; Stoneking, Lisa R; Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Arizona (Dove Press, 2016-02-18)
      Introduction: Language and cultural barriers are detriments to quality health care. In acute medical settings, these barriers are more pronounced, which can lead to poor patient outcomes. Materials and methods: We implemented a longitudinal Spanish-language immersion curriculum for emergency medicine (EM) resident physicians. This curriculum includes language and cultural instruction, and is integrated into the weekly EM didactic conference, longitudinal over the entire 3-year residency program. Language proficiency was assessed at baseline and annually on the Interagency Language Roundtable (ILR) scale, via an oral exam conducted by the same trained examiner each time. The objective of the curriculum was improvement of resident language skills to ILR level 1+ by year 3. Significance was evaluated through repeatedmeasures analysis of variance. Results: The curriculum was launched in July 2010 and followed through June 2012 (n=16). After 1 year, 38% had improved over one ILR level, with 50% achieving ILR 1+ or above. After year 2, 100% had improved over one level, with 90% achieving the objective level of ILR 1+. Mean ILR improved significantly from baseline, year 1, and year 2 (F=55, df =1; P,0.001). Conclusion: Implementation of a longitudinal, integrated Spanish-immersion curriculum is feasible and improves language skills in EM residents. The curriculum improved EM-resident language proficiency above the goal in just 2 years. Further studies will focus on the effect of language acquisition on patient care in acute settings
    • Implementation of the Introductory Clinican Development Series: an optional boot camp for Emergency Medicine interns

      Min, Alice A; Stoneking, Lisa R; Grall, Kriti H; Spear-Ellinwood, Karen; Office of Medical Student Education, University of Arizona (Dove Press, 2014-08-25)
      Background: The transition from medical student to first-year intern can be challenging. The stress of increased responsibilities, the gap between performance expectations and varying levels of clinical skills, and the need to adapt to a new institutional space and culture can make this transition overwhelming. Orientation programs intend to help new residents prepare for their new training environment. Objective: To ease our interns’ transition, we piloted a novel clinical primer course. We believe this course will provide an introduction to basic clinical knowledge and procedures, without affecting time allotted for mandatory orientation activities, and will help the interns feel better prepared for their clinical duties. Methods: First-year Emergency Medicine residents were invited to participate in this primer course, called the Introductory Clinician Development Series (or “intern boot camp”), providing optional lecture and procedural skills instruction prior to their participation in the mandatory orientation curriculum and assumption of clinical responsibilities. Participating residents completed postcourse surveys asking for feedback on the experience. Results: Survey responses indicated that the intern boot camp helped first-year residents feel more prepared for their clinical shifts in the Emergency Department. Conclusion: An optional clinical introductory series can allow for maintenance of mandatory orientation activities and clinical shifts while easing the transition from medical student to clinician.
    • Point-of-care echocardiography in simulation-based education and assessment

      Amini, Richard; Stolz, Lori A; Javedani, Parisa P; Gaskin, Kevin; Baker, Nicola; Ng, Vivienne; Adhikari, Srikar; Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Arizona Medical Center (Dove Press, 2016-05-31)
      Background: Emergency medicine milestones released by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education require residents to demonstrate competency in bedside ultrasound (US). The acquisition of these skills necessitates a combination of exposure to clinical pathology, hands-on US training, and feedback. Objectives: We describe a novel simulation-based educational and assessment tool designed to evaluate emergency medicine residents’ competency in point-of-care echocardiography for evaluation of a hypotensive patient with chest pain using bedside US. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at an academic medical center. A simulation-based module was developed to teach and assess the use of point-of-care echocardiography in the evaluation of the hypotensive patient. The focus of this module was sonographic imaging of cardiac pathology, and this focus was incorporated in all components of the session: asynchronous learning, didactic lecture, case-based learning, and hands-on stations. Results: A total of 52 residents with varying US experience participated in this study. Questions focused on knowledge assessment demonstrated improvement across the postgraduate year (PGY) of training. Objective standardized clinical examination evaluation demonstrated improvement between PGY I and PGY III; however, it was noted that there was a small dip in hands-on scanning skills during the PGY II. Clinical diagnosis and management skills also demonstrated incremental improvement across the PGY of training. Conclusion: The 1-day, simulation-based US workshop was an effective educational and assessment tool at our institution.
    • Sonography and hypotension: a change to critical problem solving in undergraduate medical education

      Amini, Richard; Stolz, Lori A; Hernandez, Nicholas C; Gaskin, Kevin; Baker, Nicola; Sanders, Arthur Barry; Adhikari, Srikar; Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Arizona Medical Center, College of Medicine, University of Arizona (Dove Press, 2016-01-14)
      Study objectives: Multiple curricula have been designed to teach medical students the basics of ultrasound; however, few focus on critical problem-solving. The objective of this study is to determine whether a theme-based ultrasound teaching session, dedicated to the use of ultrasound in the management of the hypotensive patient, can impact medical students’ ultrasound education and provide critical problem-solving exercises. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study using an innovative approach to train 3rd year medical students during a 1-day ultrasound training session. The students received a 1-hour didactic session on basic ultrasound physics and knobology and were also provided with YouTube hyperlinks, and links to smart phone educational applications, which demonstrated a variety of bedside ultrasound techniques. In small group sessions, students learned how to evaluate patients for pathology associated with hypotension. A knowledge assessment questionnaire was administered at the end of the session and again 3 months later. Student knowledge was also assessed using different clinical scenarios with multiple-choice questions. Results: One hundred and three 3rd year medical students participated in this study. Appropriate type of ultrasound was selected and accurate diagnosis was made in different hypotension clinical scenarios: pulmonary embolism, 81% (95% CI, 73%–89%); abdominal aortic aneurysm, 100%; and pneumothorax, 89% (95% CI, 82%–95%). The average confidence level in performing ultrasound-guided central line placement was 7/10, focused assessment with sonography for trauma was 8/10, inferior vena cava assessment was 8/10, evaluation for abdominal aortic aneurysm was 8/10, assessment for deep vein thrombus was 8/10, and cardiac ultrasound for contractility and overall function was 7/10. Student performance in the knowledge assessment portion of the questionnaire was an average of 74% (SD =11%) at the end of workshop and 74% (SD =12%) 3 months later (P=0.00). Conclusion: At our institution, we successfully integrated ultrasound and critical problemsolving instruction, as part of a 1-day workshop for undergraduate medical education
    • Spinal cord stimulation with implanted epidural paddle lead relieves chronic axial low back pain

      David A. Stidd; Rivero, Sergio; Weinand, Martin; Division of Neurosurgery, University of Arizona (Dove Press, 2014-08)
      Introduction: Spinal cord stimulation (SCS) provides significant relief for lumbosacral radiculopathy refractory to both medical and surgical treatment, but historically only offers limited relief for axial low back pain (LBP). We aim to evaluate the response of chronic axial LBP treated with SCS using a surgically implanted epidural paddle lead. Materials and methods: This is a retrospective review of a consecutive series of patients with exclusive LBP or predominant LBP associated with lower extremity (LE) pain evaluated and treated with SCS using an implanted paddle lead within the dorsal thoracic epidural space. Baseline LBP, and if present LE pain, were recorded using the visual analogue scale (VAS) at an initial evaluation. At a follow-up visit (a minimum of 12 months later), LBP and LE pain after a spinal cord stimulator implantation were again recorded using the VAS. Patients were also asked to estimate total LBP pain relief achieved. Results: Patients with either exclusive (n=7) or predominant (n=2) axial LBP were treated with SCS by implantation of a paddle lead at an average spine level of T9. The baseline VAS score for LBP was 7.2; after a follow-up of 20 months, the score decreased to 2.3 (P=0.003). The LE pain VAS score decreased from 7.5 to 0.0 (P=0.103). Patients also reported a subjective 66.4% decrease of their LBP at follow-up. There were no surgical complications. Conclusions: Axial LBP is refractory to many treatments, including SCS. SCS using a surgically implanted paddle electrode provides significant pain relief for chronic axial LPB, and is a safe treatment modality