Critical Care Education and Skills Validation Course for Internal Medicine Physicians in the Military

Lauren A. Sattler, John C. Hunninghake, Tyson J. Sjulin, Michal J. Sobieszczyk, Maria M. Molina, Ana Elizabeth Markelz, Robert J. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Military internist and internal medicine (IM) subspecialist physicians must be prepared to function in both traditional inpatient and outpatient settings, as well as manage critically ill patients within a deployed austere environment. As many critical care procedures are not performed on a routine basis in general IM practice, many active duty IM physicians experience skills degradation and lack confidence in performing these procedures. In order to address this perceived deficiency, the U.S. Army and Air Force Internal Medicine Education and Skills Validation Course was developed to provide essential training in critical care procedures for active duty military IM physicians and subspecialists. Materials and Methods: Staff internist and subspecialist physicians at multiple military treatment facilities participated in a 2-day simulationbased training course in critical care procedures included in the Army Individual Critical Task Lists and the Air Force Comprehensive Medical Readiness Program. Educational content included high-yield didactic lectures, multidisciplinary Advanced Cardiac Life Support/Advanced Trauma Life Support high-fidelity simulation scenarios, and competency training/validation in various bedside procedures, including central venous and arterial line placement, trauma-focused ultrasound exam, airway management and endotracheal intubation, chest tube thoracotomy, and mechanical ventilation, among others. Results: A total of 87 staff IM physicians participated in the course with an average of 2-4 years of experience following completion of graduate medical education. Upon course completion, all participants successfully achieved rigorous, checklist-based, standardized validation in all the required procedures. Survey data indicated a significant improvement in overall skills confidence, with 100% of participants indicating improvement in their ability to function independently as deployed medical officers. Conclusions: Broad implementation of this program at military hospitals would improve pre-deployment critical care procedural readiness in military IM physicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E1356-E1361
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2023
Externally publishedYes


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