Education Research: The current state of neurophysiology education in selected neurology residency programs

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Abstract

Objective

Prior research has illustrated there is a knowledge gap in neurology residents' neurophysiology education (EEG and EMG), and we sought to understand whether this is still an issue and to recognize the barriers in order to create solutions and improve education.

Methods

Surveys were developed for adult neurology residents and one for program directors asking about confidence in neurophysiology knowledge, percent of graduates reaching level 4 ACGME (American Council of Graduate Medical Education) milestones in EEG and EMG, methods of learning used, interest in the subjects, and suggestions for improvements.

Results

Twenty-six program directors (19% responder rate) and 55 residents (from at least 16 different programs) completed the survey. Program directors thought that 85% of graduating residents met level 4 milestones in EEG and only 75% in EMG. Structured rotations and more time allocated to education of these topics were frequent barriers mentioned. Postgraduate year 4 residents were 60% and 67% confident in EEG and 64%, 59%, and 62.3% in EMG level 4 milestones. Learning to read EEGs was considered important throughout residents' training; however, this interest and value decreased over time with EMG.

Conclusion

In our study, program directors suspect up to a quarter of residents may graduate not meeting level 4 ACGME milestones, and residents expressed lack of confidence in these areas. The educational methods used to instruct residents in EEG and EMG were similar as were the barriers they face across programs. This information hopefully will help fuel curriculum design and interest in these important neurology techniques.

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