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Transfus Med. 2012 Feb;22(1):44-9; quiz 49-51. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3148.2011.01118.x. Epub 2011 Dec 5.

A survey to assess transfusion medicine education needs for clinicians.

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Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA.



To evaluate the baseline knowledge of attending clinicians, residents and medical students in transfusion medicine (TM) at our institution in order to develop specialty-specific lectures.


Physicians often receive minimal training in TM. Transfusion practices vary widely among individual physicians and across institutions. This variation leads to increased and unnecessary risk to patients and elevated costs for hospitals--problems that may be addressed through TM education.


An electronic self-administered survey was developed and administered to attending physicians, house staff and third and fourth year medical students at four hospitals. The survey consisted of 3 sections including background demographics, 14 knowledge assessment (KA) questions and opinions on educational needs.


Two hundred and twenty-five surveys were received from physicians and medical students, of which 189 were completed and analysed. The overall mean score on the KA section was 31 · 4 ± 18 · 3% (4 · 4 ± 2 · 6 of 14 questions) correct. Significantly stronger performance was noted in the following categories: participants in the specialties pathology or hematology (adult and pediatric), all fellows and participants who report greater than 5 h of formal TM education in the past 5 years. The majority of participants believed that additional training in TM was needed for themselves as well as other physicians at all training levels.


Additional training in TM would be beneficial to and welcomed by physicians in all training levels in all specialties. Innovative specialty-specific educational programmes need to be developed and tested to ensure efficacy and durability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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