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A (hearts) thumbs up for cardiologists in heart examinations

At fairing well in examining the heart and making a correct diagnosis cardiologists are above the rest. // They fair better than medical students, residents, and other practicing physicians at performing a bedside heart examination and in accurately identifying abnormal heart sounds. This was revealed by the findings of two studies reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The study was performed by Dr. Jasminka M. Vukanovic-Criley, from Stanford University in California, and colleagues. They compared competency in cardiac examination skills among medical students, residents and various practicing physicians.

860 participants were included in the study and it focused on four aspects of competency: heart physiology knowledge, auditory skills, visual skills, and integration of auditory and visual skills using computer graphic animations and virtual patient examinations.

In the conclusion provided by the authors, "Cardiac examination skills do not improve after medical school year three and may decline after years in practice, which has important implications for medical decision making, patient safety, cost-effective care, and continuing medical education.

The second study done by , Dr. Andrew D. Michaels, from the University of California at San Francisco, and colleagues assessed the ability of various physicians to detect a third heart sound on physical examination.

100 patients were each evaluated by an internal medicine intern, internal medicine resident, cardiology fellow, and cardiology attending.

Only the results obtained by cardiology fellows and attendings showed significant agreement with the phonocardiographic results.

Thus cardiologist did well than anyone else.


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