Background: The role of transoesophageal echocardiography (TOE) in anaesthetic practice is expanding. We evaluated the effect of a TOE perceptual and adaptive learning module (PALM) on first-yr anaesthesiology residents' performance, in diagnosing cardiac pathology by TOE. Methods: First-yr residents were assigned to a group (n = 12) that used a TOE PALM or a control group that did not (n = 12). Both groups received a TOE pretest that measured their accuracy and response times. The PALM group completed the PALM and a posttest within 30 min and a delayed test six months later. The control group received a delayed test six months after their pretest. Accuracy and fluency (accurate responses within 10 s) were measured. Results: The PALM group had statistically significant improvements for both accuracy and fluency (P < 0.0001) in diagnosing cardiac pathology by TOE. After six months, the PALM group's performance remained significantly higher than their pretest values for accuracy (P = 0.0002, d = 2.7) and fluency (P < 0.0001, d = 2.3). Conclusions: In this pilot study, exposure to a PALM significantly improved accuracy and fluency in diagnosing TOE cardiac pathology, in a group of first-year anaesthesiology residents. PALMs can significantly improve learning and pattern recognition in medical education.
- pattern recognition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine