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AEM Educ Train ; 6(1): e10718, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1669353


BACKGROUND: COVID necessitated the shift to virtual resident instruction. The challenge of learning via virtual modalities has the potential to increase cognitive load. It is important for educators to reduce cognitive load to optimize learning, yet there are few available tools to measure cognitive load. The objective of this study is to identify and provide validity evidence following Messicks' framework for an instrument to evaluate cognitive load in virtual emergency medicine didactic sessions. METHODS: This study followed Messicks' framework for validity including content, response process, internal structure, and relationship to other variables. Content validity evidence included: (1) engagement of reference librarian and literature review of existing instruments; (2) engagement of experts in cognitive load, and relevant stakeholders to review the literature and choose an instrument appropriate to measure cognitive load in EM didactic presentations. Response process validity was gathered using the format and anchors of instruments with previous validity evidence and piloting amongst the author group. A lecture was provided by one faculty to four residency programs via ZoomTM. Afterwards, residents completed the cognitive load instrument. Descriptive statistics were collected; Cronbach's alpha assessed internal consistency of the instrument; and correlation for relationship to other variables (quality of lecture). RESULTS: The 10-item Leppink Cognitive Load instrument was selected with attention to content and response process validity evidence. Internal structure of the instrument was good (Cronbach's alpha = 0.80). Subscales performed well-intrinsic load (α = 0.96, excellent), extrinsic load (α = 0.89, good), and germane load (α = 0.97, excellent). Five of the items were correlated with overall quality of lecture (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The 10-item Cognitive Load instrument demonstrated good validity evidence to measure cognitive load and the subdomains of intrinsic, extraneous, and germane load. This instrument can be used to provide feedback to presenters to improve the cognitive load of their presentations.

West J Emerg Med ; 23(1): 33-39, 2021 Dec 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1638790


INTRODUCTION: Safety concerns surrounding the coronavirus 2019 pandemic led to the prohibition of student rotations outside their home institutions. This resulted in emergency medicine (EM)-bound students having less specialty experience and exposure to outside programs and practice environments, and fewer opportunities to gain additional Standardized Letters of Evaluation, a cornerstone of the EM residency application. We filled this void by implementing a virtual clerkship. METHODS: We created a two-week virtual, fourth-year visiting clerkship focused on advanced medical knowledge topics, social determinants of health, professional development, and professional identity formation. Students completed asynchronous assignments and participated in small group-facilitated didactic sessions. We evaluated the virtual clerkship with pre- and post-medical knowledge tests and evaluative surveys. RESULTS: We hosted 26 senior medical students over two administrations of the same two-week virtual clerkship. Students had a statistically significant improvement on the medical knowledge post-tests compared to pre-tests (71.7% [21.5/30] to 76.3% [22.9/30]). Students reported being exposed to social determinants of health concepts they had not previously been exposed to. Students appreciated the interactive nature of the sessions; networking with other students, residents, and faculty; introduction to novel content regarding social determinants of health; and exposure to future career opportunities. Screen time, technological issues, and mismatch between volume of content and time allotted were identified as potential challenges and areas for improvement. CONCLUSION: We demonstrate that a virtual EM visiting clerkship is feasible to implement, supports knowledge acquisition, and is perceived as valuable by participants. The benefits seen and challenges faced in the development and implementation of our clerkship can serve to inform future virtual clerkships, which we feel is a complement to traditional visiting clerkships even though in-person clerkships have been re-established.

COVID-19 , Clinical Clerkship , Emergency Medicine , Students, Medical , Curriculum , Emergency Medicine/education , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
AEM Educ Train ; 5(3): e10603, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1176242


OBJECTIVES: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact health systems across the United States and worldwide in an unprecedented way; however, its influence on frontline medical trainees' educational experiences is unknown. Our objective was to determine the effects of COVID-19 on emergency medicine (EM) training programs and residents. METHODS: We performed a mixed-methods cross-sectional survey study of faculty and residents at programs registered with Foundations of Emergency Medicine. Participants completed an online survey consisting of closed and open-ended response items. We reported descriptive statistics for discrete and continuous data. Free-response data were analyzed qualitatively using a thematic approach. RESULTS: Ninety-two percent of faculty (119/129) and 47% (1,965/4,154) of residents responded to our survey. We identified three major themes related to effects on learning: 1) impact on clinical training, 2) impact on didactic education, and 3) impact on the trainee. Nearly all residencies (96%, 111/116) allowed residents to work with patients suspected of having COVID-19, although fewer (83%, 96/115) allowed residents to intubate them. We found that 99% (1918/1928) of residents experienced virtual didactics. Faculty and trainees noted multiple educational challenges and strategies for adaptation. Trainees also expressed concerns about stress and safety. CONCLUSION: COVID-19 has impacted EM education in many ways including clinical training, didactic education, and trainee emotional state and concentration. Challenges and suggested solutions for learning in the virtual environment were also identified. While the pandemic continues to evolve and impact EM residents in various ways, our results may inform strategies to support medical educators and trainees during pandemics or other periods of significant disruption or crisis.