Background: Management of mechanical ventilation (MV) is an important and complex aspect of caring for critically ill patients. Management strategies and technical operation of the ventilator are key skills for physicians in training, as lack of expertise can lead to substantial patient harm. Objective: We performed a narrative review of the literature describing MV education in graduate medical education (GME) and identified best practices for training and assessment methods. Methods: We searched MEDLINE, PubMed, and Google Scholar for English-language, peer-reviewed articles describing MV education and assessment. We included articles from 2000 through July 2018 pertaining to MV education or training in GME. Results: Fifteen articles met inclusion criteria. Studies related to MV training in anesthesiology, emergency medicine, general surgery, and internal medicine residency programs, as well as subspecialty training in critical care medicine, pediatric critical care medicine, and pulmonary and critical care medicine. Nearly half of trainees assessed were dissatisfied with their MV education. Six studies evaluated educational interventions, all employing simulation as an educational strategy, although there was considerable heterogeneity in content. Most outcomes were assessed with multiple-choice knowledge testing; only 2 studies evaluated the care of actual patients after an educational intervention. Conclusions: There is a paucity of information describing MV education in GME. The available literature demonstrates that trainees are generally dissatisfied with MV training. Best practices include establishing MV-specific learning objectives and incorporating simulation. Next research steps include developing competency standards and validity evidence for assessment tools that can be utilized across MV educational curricula.
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