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Characteristics, content, and instructors in emergency and urgent medicine courses in the medical departments of Spanish universities

Repullo D, Miró O, Nogué R, Coll-Vinent B

√Ārea de Urgencias, Hospital Cl√≠nic de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. ‚ÄúUrg√®ncies, processos i patologies‚ÄĚ. IDIBAPS. Servicio de Urgencias, Hospital Arnau de Vilanova, Lleida, Spain.

The teaching of emergency medicine (EM) and urgent care in Spanish universities is unregulated. This study aimed to analyze how EM is being taught in Spanish medical faculties. We visited the web pages of 46 universities that offer medical degrees. If an EM course was offered, the instructors were contacted. We noted whether the university was a public or private facility, whether a course was required or not and in what year, the duration and number of credits awarded, the distribution of instructional hours, how students were assessed, and the gender and category of the assigned instructors. EM is taught in 65% of Spanish universities. The subject is usually required (in 72.7%), lasts 4 months (87.9%), and is taught in the fifth year (57.6%). Nineteen courses cover EM exclusively, and 14 share the course syllabus with other material. The median number of credits offered is 5, and the distribution of time for theory and practice is similar across the universities. Syllabi are highly varied. Few hours of hospital training are offered, and 75% of the courses require a minimum number of hours of attendance and passing a final exam. Adjunct professors teach 62.3% of the courses, assistants teach 34.3%, and only 11 courses are taught by full professors. Women accounted for 31.9% of the instructors. That percentage decreased as professional category increased. We found that EM is taught in a majority of Spanish universities with medical schools, but not all; nor is the subject managed uniformly. Instructors are not often closely tied to the faculty, syllabi vary greatly and a low number of women teachers, suggesting considerable room for improvement in the future.

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