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Open Access Research article

Who is teaching and supervising our junior residents' central venous catheterizations?

Irene WY Ma12*, Elise Teteris2, James M Roberts3 and Maria Bacchus1

Author Affiliations

1 Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada

2 W21C, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, Canada

3 Division of General Internal Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

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BMC Medical Education 2011, 11:16  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-16

Published: 25 April 2011



The extent to which medical residents are involved in the teaching and supervision of medical procedures is unknown. This study aims to evaluate the teaching and supervision of junior residents in central venous catheterization (CVC) by resident-teachers.


All PGY-1 internal medicine residents at two Canadian academic institutions were invited to complete a survey on their CVC experience, teaching, and supervision prior to their enrolment in a simulator CVC training curriculum.


Of the 69 eligible PGY-1 residents, 32 (46%) consenting participants were included in the study. There were no significant baseline differences between participants from the two institutions in terms of sex, number of ICU months completed, previous CVC training received, number of CVCs observed and performed. Only 16 participants (50%) received any CVC training at baseline. Of those who received any training, 63% were taught only by senior resident-teachers. A total of 81 CVCs were placed by 17 participants. Thirty-two CVCs (45%) were supervised by resident-teachers.


Resident-teachers play a significant role both in the teaching and supervision of CVCs placed by junior residents. Educational efforts should focus on preparing residents for their role in teaching and supervision of procedures.