A novel bedside cardiopulmonary physical diagnosis curriculum for internal medicine postgraduate training

Brian Thomas Garibaldi*, Timothy Niessen, Allan Charles Gelber, Bennett Clark, Yizhen Lee, Jose Alejandro Madrazo, Reza Sedighi Manesh, Ariella Apfel, Brandyn D. Lau, Gigi Liu, Jenna Van Liere Canzoniero, C. John Sperati, Hsin Chieh Yeh, Daniel J. Brotman, Thomas A. Traill, Danelle Cayea, Samuel C. Durso, Rosalyn W. Stewart, Mary C. Corretti, Edward K. KasperSanjay V. Desai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Physicians spend less time at the bedside in the modern hospital setting which has contributed to a decline in physical diagnosis, and in particular, cardiopulmonary examination skills. This trend may be a source of diagnostic error and threatens to Erode the patient-physician relationship. We created a new bedside cardiopulmonary physical diagnosis curriculum and assessed its effects on post-graduate year-1 (PGY-1; interns) attitudes, confidence and skill. Methods: One hundred five internal medicine interns in a large U.S. internal medicine residency program participated in the Advancing Bedside Cardiopulmonary Examination Skills (ACE) curriculum while rotating on a general medicine inpatient service between 2015 and 2017. Teaching sessions included exam demonstrations using healthy volunteers and real patients, imaging didactics, computer learning/high-fidelity simulation, and bedside teaching with experienced clinicians. Primary outcomes were attitudes, confidence and skill in the cardiopulmonary physical exam as determined by a self-assessment survey, and a validated online cardiovascular examination (CE). Results: Interns who participated in ACE (ACE interns) by mid-year more strongly agreed they had received adequate training in the cardiopulmonary exam compared with non-ACE interns. ACE interns were more confident than non-ACE interns in performing a cardiac exam, assessing the jugular venous pressure, distinguishing 'a' from 'v' waves, and classifying systolic murmurs as crescendo-decrescendo or holosystolic. Only ACE interns had a significant improvement in score on the mid-year CE. Conclusions: A comprehensive bedside cardiopulmonary physical diagnosis curriculum improved trainee attitudes, confidence and skill in the cardiopulmonary examination. These results provide an opportunity to re-examine the way physical examination is taught and assessed in residency training programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number182
JournalBMC medical education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 6 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bedside medicine
  • Cardiopulmonary exam
  • Medical education
  • Physical examination skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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