Knowledge Acquisition An Infectious Diseases Perspective

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A study was undertaken to evaluate the knowledge acquisition in Infectious Diseases during a one-month rotation completed by fourth-year medical students and residents. Fifty fourth-year medical students and 112 residents (internal medicine = 86, internal medicine/pediatrics = 18, orthopedics = 6, family medicine = 2) completed a one-month rotation in Infectious Diseases. The rotation took place between 1990 and 1998. The setting was community hospitals affiliated with a community-based medical school and medical school-sponsored residency programs. Medical students and residents completed a 103-item objective test (multiple choice, multiple true-false, matching) on a pre-test-post-test basis.The test covered 10 content areas including antibiotics, endocarditis, febrile neutropenia, HIV disease, meningitis, osteomyelitis, pneumonia, postoperative fever, sexually transmitted diseases and urinary tract infections. The mean score on the Infectious Diseases knowledge test increased from 65.8% to 77.4% for medical students (n = 49, paired t = 13.67, p < 0.001) and from 70.3% to 77.8% for residents (n = 95, paired t = 12.18, p < 0.001). It was concluded that a one-month rotation was effective in increasing the short-term knowledge base of fourth-year medical students and residents.



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