Background: Internal medicine residents must be competent in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) for board certification. Purpose: The purpose was to use a medical simulator to assess baseline proficiency in ACLS and determine the impact of an intervention on skill development. Method: This was a randomized trial with wait-list controls. After baseline evaluation in all residents, the intervention group received 4 education sessions using a medical simulator. All residents were then retested. After crossover, the wait-list group received the intervention, and residents were tested again. Performance was assessed by comparison to American Heart Association guidelines for treatment of ACLS conditions with interrater and internal consistency reliability estimates. Results: Performance improved significantly after simulator training. No improvement was detected as a function of clinical experience alone. The educational program was rated highly. Conclusion: Training on a medical simulator dramatically increased the skills of residents in ACLS scenarios, compared to clinical experience.
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