A Case–based Emergency Medicine Curriculum for Senior Medical Students

Daniel DeBehnke, Dennis Shepherd, O. John Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the effects of a case–based, core content–oriented emergency medicine (EM) curriculum on the basic EM knowledge of senior medical students. Methods: All senior medical students rotating through the Milwaukee County EM elective during the 1992–1993 academic year were assigned specific chapter readings from a case–oriented EM textbook. A course curriculum consisting of goals and objectives for each chapter and two to three representative cases for the discussion topic also was distributed to each student. Interspersed with the cases was a series of questions directed at pathophysiology, diagnosis, management, and disposition. The EM faculty and residents conducted case discussions three times per week. AH students completing the rotation were given a pretest at the beginning and a final examination at the end of the rotation. In addition, the students rated the textbook, coursebook, and lecture series at the end of the rotation using a five–point Likert scale. Results: Seventy–five students rotated through the elective. The students showed a significant improvement in their EM knowledge base as judged by improvement in final examination scores compared with pretest scores (pretest score 62.2 ± 7.1%; final examination score 76.2 ± 6.3%; p < 0.0001). The mean change in scores was 14.8%, with a range of –1.6% to 34%. The students also rated the textbook, coursebook, and lecture series as effective, as shown by high median scores on a Likert scale. Conclusions: A case–based EM curriculum coupled with ED clinical experience improves basic EM diagnostic and management knowledge of senior medical students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-522
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • clinical clerkship
  • curriculum
  • emergency medicine
  • undergraduate medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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