Impact of Cardiac Physical Examination Faculty Development on Medical Student Performance: A Randomized Trial

Eric W Schaefer*, Diane Bronstein Wayne, William Craig McGaghie, Sarah E. Kozmic, I. Martin Grais, John Butter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Cardiac physical examination skills are often deficient in trainees and faculty members. Although recommended, the impact of cardiac physical examination faculty development on “downstream” trainee skills is unknown. Aim: This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of cardiac physical examination education for faculty and its impact on their students. Methods: We developed an 8-h multimodality training course featuring deliberate practice and feedback. From July 2012 to April 2013, 17 internal medicine hospitalists were randomized to receive training. Impact was measured on hospitalists and 56 medical students. The primary outcome was hospitalist and student performance on a cardiac physical examination interpretation test. Results: Intervention hospitalists significantly increased their cardiac physical examination interpretation skills from 54 % at pretest to 92 % at posttest (p < 0.001). However, test scores of students who worked with intervention hospitalists did not significantly increase (52 to 56 %, p = 0.26). Students rated the intervention hospitalists as more thorough on only one element of the cardiac physical examination than untrained faculty members (p = <0.05). Conclusion: An 8-h faculty development course improved the cardiac physical examination skills of faculty. Skills of medical learners did not improve. Future faculty instruction needs to be more powerful or targeted directly to learners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-172
Number of pages8
JournalMedical Science Educator
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014


  • Cardiac auscultation
  • Faculty development
  • Medical students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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