Monday, September 12, 2005

The lost art of electrocardiography

Retired Doc recently lamented the lack of skill in ECG interpretation among internal medicine and emergency medicine residents. Perhaps in the present era of high technology electrocardiography has become a lost art much like physical examination. J. Willis Hurst has written extensively about the reasons, and possible remedies, for the decline in skill in electrocardiography. [1] [2]. He cites various weaknesses in postgraduate teaching, as well as the failure to understand basic electrophysiologic principles. Sadly, there is a lack of formal training. Learning by osmosis is not very effective.

There are a few decent web based learning resources. The best I’ve found is ECG Wave-Maven. This site is cased based, somewhat interactive, and has annotations with literature citations. Medscape’s ECG of the Week (free access after registration) is also somewhat helpful. Unfortunately, another of my favorites, the American College of Cardiology ECG of the month, has gone behind access controls.

1 comment:

Clinical Cases and Images said...

Good post. Thanks for the links. I like the ECG Wave-Maven the best and will add it to the post on our Clinical Cases and Images site.

I have found a few other useful links and put them over there, the arrhythmia simulator is especially nicely done, although a bit simple. I also made a up a little mnemonic to get residents to use a systematic approach to reading an EKG... It may be a little goofy but it works... :-)