Under- and Post-Graduate Training to Manage the Acutely Unwell Patient: A Scoping Review

Helen Church*, Deborah Murdoch-Eaton, JOHN SANDARS

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
32 Downloads (Pure)


Junior doctors are often the first responders to acutely unwell patients and yet frequently report feeling under-prepared to do so. To understand whether this is consequential of how medical students and doctors are trained to manage acutely unwell patients, a scoping review was conducted using a systematic approach. The review, informed by the Arksey and O’Malley and PRISMA-ScR guidelines, identified educational interventions targeting the management of acutely unwell adults. Seven major literature databases were searched for journal articles published in English from 2005-2022, in addition to the Association of Medical Education in Europe (AMEE) conference proceedings from 2014-2022. Seventy-three articles and abstracts were eligible for the review, the majority of which were from the UK or USA, and demonstrated that educational interventions were more commonly targeted at medical students than qualified doctors. The majority of studies used simulation, but very few integrated complexities of the clinical environment within scenarios such as multidisciplinary working, distraction-handling techniques and other non-technical skills. A wide range of learning objectives pertaining to acute patient management were stated across studies, but few explicitly cited educational theory underpinning their study. The results of this review encourages future educational initiatives to consider enhancing authenticity within simulation to promote transfer of learning to clinical practice, and use educational theory to augment the sharing of educational approaches within the community of clinical education practice. Additionally, increasing the focus on post-graduate learning, building upon undergraduate educational foundations, is essential to promoting lifelong learning within the ever-changing healthcare environment.
Original languageEnglish
Article number146
Pages (from-to)146
Number of pages1
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Early online date3 Mar 2023
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2023


  • undergraduate education
  • postgraduate education
  • acutely unwell patient management
  • medical education
  • preparedness for practice
  • simulation education


Dive into the research topics of 'Under- and Post-Graduate Training to Manage the Acutely Unwell Patient: A Scoping Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this