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Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by pamd, Jul 18, 2006.
How deep do medical students go into electrocardiography, with respect to interpretation?
at my school (and i'd imagine most others) even during the first year we got fairly in-depth with reading ecg's; mostly because doing so is a good way to learn about how the heart actually works. we were tested over (ie expected to be able to recognize) 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree heart blocks, afib/flutter, u-waves, v-tach/v-fib, and st changes. also some of the "technical" stuff such as figuring heart rates, segment intervals (those two are easy easy easy) and determining mean electric axis and identifying axis shifts.
if you're motivated to learn to read ECG's well, you will be able to do so during medical school. i'm not great at it, but i do find it interesting and useful and have spent some extra time studying them (nerdy, i know) as well as quite a bit of time hanging out in the ED trying to read them (though that's not specifically why i go to the ED, some nights it seems like every other patient gets an ECG). there are some good ECG books available as well as stuff on the web. remember not to take what the computer says about an ECG too seriously, they miss stuff sometiems and also sometimes make nothing into something.
like so many things in med school, how well you learn to read ECG's is very user dependent. if you're not interested in it, you're not going to be as good at it as someone who goes out of their way to learn about them. and that's ok, no one can be an expert at everything. there's enough in med school that you can sorta pick and choose what you want to spend extra time on.