Critical Electrocardiogram Curriculum: Setting the Standard for Flipped-Classroom EKG Instruction

William P. Burns, Nicholas D. Hartman, P. Logan Weygandt, Shanna C. Jones, Holly Caretta-Weyer, Kristen Grabow Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Electrocardiogram (EKG) interpretation is integral to emergency medicine (EM). In 2003 Ginde et al. found 48% of emergency medicine (EM) residency directors supported creating a national EKG curriculum. No formal national curriculum exists, and it is unknown whether residents gain sufficient skill from clinical exposure alone. METHODS: The authors sought to assess the value of this EKG curriculum, which provides exposure to critical EKG patterns, a framework for EKG interpretation when the diagnosis is not obvious, and implementation guidelines and open access to any interested residency. The Foundations of Emergency Medicine (FoEM) EKG I course launched in January 2016, followed by EKG II in July 2017; they are benchmarked to post-graduate year 1 (PGY) and PGY2 level learners, respectively. Selected topics included 15 published critical EKG diagnoses and 33 selected by the authors. Cases included presenting symptoms, EKGs, and Free Open Access Medical Education (FOAM) links. Full EKG interpretations and question answers were provided. RESULTS: Enrollment during 2017-2018 included 37 EM residencies with 663 learners in EKG I and 22 EM residencies with 438 learners in EKG II. Program leaders and learners were surveyed annually. Leaders indicated that content was appropriate for intended PGY levels. Leaders and learners indicated the curriculum improved the ability of learners to interpret EKGs while working in the emergency department (ED). CONCLUSION: There is an unmet need for standardization and improvement of EM resident EKG training. Leaders and learners exposed to FoEM EKG courses report improved ability of learners to interpret EKGs in the ED.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-57
Number of pages6
JournalThe western journal of emergency medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 18 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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