Electrocardiogram interpretation skills in pediatric residents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: The primary objective of this study was to evaluate pediatric residents' ability to correctly identify electrocardiogram (ECG) findings and pair them to a corresponding cardiac diagnosis. Methods: Forty-six pediatric residents from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center were surveyed to evaluate their ability to interpret ECGs and factors affecting that ability. Included in the survey was a packet of 10 patient vignettes each accompanied by a 12-lead ECG. The primary outcome variable was the resident's score of correctly paired ECG findings with the appropriate cardiac diagnosis. One point was given for each pair correctly identified for a maximum of 10 points. Simple and multiple linear regression was used to estimate the magnitude and significance of any association between score of correct responses and resident year, completion of a pediatric cardiology rotation, self-rated ability to read ECGs, and training received in reading ECGs. Results: The mean number of correct ECG findings and cardiac diagnosis pairings out of 10 for the PGY 1 group was 4.1 3, PGY 2 group 4.9 2.9, PGY 3 group 6.6 2, and the PGY 4 group 6.8 1.7. In the unadjusted linear regression model, the PGY 3 group correctly identified 2.4 more pairings compared to the PGY 1 group (P =0.02). Those who completed a pediatric cardiology rotation correctly identified 2.5 more pairings compared to those who did not complete a rotation (P=0.001). Conclusions: ECG interpretation significantly improved from PGY 1 to PGY 3. Educational programs involving ECG interpretation should target those diagnoses with high clinical severity and average to poor resident knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-7
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Pediatric Cardiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Education
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Interpretation
  • Pediatric residents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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