Improvement of Cardiac Auscultation Skills in Pediatric Residents With Training


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Abstract

Cardiac murmurs, most of which are harmless, are present in more than 50% of children. Good auscultation skills are required to prevent unnecessary referrals. The auscultation skills of a group of 21 pediatric residents were assessed. Based on their identification of key features such as S1, S2, timing, grade, location, quality of the murmur, and any extra sounds, residents were asked to make a clinical diagnosis. The overall diagnostic accuracy for all residents was 30% and improved with years of training. The average score for correctly identified key features was 46% with no significant improvement with year of training. Residents who had completed a cardiology rotation scored better than the others (41 % vs 18% for correct diagnosis). Clinical auscultation skills of pediatric residents in our institution showed significant improvement with training, especially in the ability to recognize a harmless heart murmur.

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