The impact of adding 1 month of intensive care unit training in a categorical internal medicine residency program

John J. Mullon, Ognjen Gajic, Bhargavi Gali, Robert D. Ficalora, Joseph C. Kolars, Bekele Afessa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To determine the impact of adding a month of critical care training in the postgraduate year (PGY)-2 on the critical care skills of PGY-3 residents. DESIGN: Prospective, nonrandomized. SETTING: The internal medicine (IM) residency program of a tertiary care medical center. STUDY SUBJECTS: The study subjects included the 2005/2006 and 2006/2007 academic year IM residents. INTERVENTIONS: The 2005/2006 IM residents (control group, n = 48) had 1 month of critical care training (internship year) before their 1-month PGY-3 rotations. The 2006/2007 residents (intervention group, n = 47) had an additional 1-month rotation in a multispecialty intensive care unit (ICU) during their second year. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: At the beginning of their last ICU month rotation, the intervention group's self-assessment (1-5 Likert scale) of their skills in internal jugular venous catheterization (3.4 vs. 2.4, p < 0.001) and management of severe sepsis (4.0 vs. 2.4, p < 0.001) and acute lung injury (3.3 vs. 2.6, p < 0.001) was higher than that of the control group. However, the observed success rates of endotracheal intubation (55.4% vs. 54.9%, p = 0.953) and central venous catheterization (78.1% vs. 80.8%, p = 0.488) were similar between the two groups. No difference was noted in the complication rates for endotracheal intubation or central venous catheterization between the control and intervention groups. End of ICU rotation examination results, attending evaluations, and the observed application of evidence-based practice in the management of severe sepsis were similar between the two groups. CONCLUSIONS: Increasing IM residents' experience in the ICU resulted in modest, transient improvement of their perceived clinical skills in critical care procedures and management of severe sepsis and acute lung injury. However, no statistically significant and sustained improvement was noted in the observed cognitive or clinical skills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1223-1228
Number of pages6
JournalCritical care medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2009



  • Central venous catheterization
  • Educational measurement
  • Endotracheal intubation
  • Intensive care
  • Medical residency
  • Sepsis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

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