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Medicina Intensiva

versión impresa ISSN 0210-5691


QUINTANA DIAZ, M. et al. A national survey of medical students about the specialty of Intensive Medicine and intensive care units. Med. Intensiva [online]. 2009, vol.33, n.8, pp.363-369. ISSN 0210-5691.

Objectives: To determine the degree of knowledge about intensive medicine and interest in this specialty among medical students in Spain. Design: A survey with closed questions. Setting: Complutense University of Madrid, Autonomous University of Madrid, University of Salamanca, Autonomous University of Barcelona, University of Granada, and University of Alcalá de Henares. Participants: Medical students from the above-mentioned universities. Results: A total of 377 medical students (mean age: 21.3±1.9 years) were included. Women made up 75.3% of the sample; 37.7% of the students surveyed were in their third year (of six total), and the rest were distributed equally among the other five years with the exception of the first year (1.6%). Most students (85.1%) stated that they studied medicine because they had a vocation for the profession, whereas 7.7% stated that they studied medicine because of the influence of their families. A total of 45.7% said they were making good grades and 16.7% needed to repeat some subjects. Students' knowledge of ICUs came from different sources: television (35%), personal experience (25.2%), and friends and/or family (35%); 16.4% had no knowledge of the ICU. ICUs were associated with intensivists in 86.5%. Most students said that ICUs treat patients with multiple trauma (85.4%), postoperative patients (68.4%), coronary patients (62.3%), respiratory patients (61.5%), and neurological patients (50.7%). The techniques that students considered were frequently employed in ICUs included mechanical ventilation (89.4%), orotracheal intubation (83.8%), intravenous sedation (71.1%), central venous lines (70.8%), intravenous analgesia (69.8%), nasogastric catheterization (63.9%), antibiotics (62.3%), total parenteral nutrition (56%), and tracheostomy (53.5%); less frequently mentioned were peripheral venous line placement (52.5%), temporary pacemaker placement (40.1%), arterial line placement (40.6%), Swan-Ganz catheterization (38.6%), intramuscular relaxation (32.4%), thoracocentesis (31,3%), continuous hemofiltration (28.9%), lumbar puncture (28.6%), and permanent pacemaker placement (19.7%). Students believe that intensivists participate in maintaining organ donors (70.6%) but little in detecting organ donors (40%) or in asking families for permission to extract organs (40.1%). Finally, 52% said that they will consider intensive medicine when specializing. Conclusion: Although some aspects of intensive medicine are not well known among medical students, the general level of knowledge about intensive medicine is acceptable and more than half of the medical students surveyed will consider it when deciding on a specialty.

Palabras clave : Survey; Medical students; Intensive care units; Intensivists.

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