Cardiac Auscultation Skills among Pediatric Residents


  • Hayat Ali Addis Ababa University
  • Endale Tefera Department of Pediatrics & Adolescent Health, Division of Cardiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
  • Etsegenet Gedlu Department of Pediatrics & Child Health, Unit of Pediatric Cardiology, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Ali Dawed Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Children’s Heart Fund Cardiac Center, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


cardiac auscultation skills, physical examination, residency training programs


Background: Studies from different settings demonstrated suboptimal proficiency in cardiac auscultation skills.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to assess proficiency in cardiac auscultation skills among a sample of pediatric residents in Addis Ababa University.

Methods: Five pediatric cardiac conditions namely, ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect, patent ductus arteriosus, pulmonary valve stenosis and aortic valve regurgitation were selected and programmed on mannequins. After obtaining consent, residents auscultated the mannequins and wrote down their findings.   

Results: Twenty-nine residents participated in the study. Out of those, 17 (58.6%) were in their 1st year of training, seven (24.1%) were in their 2nd year of training and five (17.3%) in their 3rd year. The mean percentage score for all residents in all the cardiac lesions was 31 ± 13% (range, 21 – 71%).  VSD was the most accurately identified lesion, with a mean score of 70 ± 24% (range, 0 – 100%). Aortic regurgitation was the least accurately identified lesion, with a mean score of 21 ± 20% (range, 0 – 67%). Year 3 residents significantly outperformed year I residents in accurately identifying findings of ASD (p= .006). The overall mean rank scores for all cardiac lesions combined; by year of residency were 13.24, 12.21, and 24.90, for year I, II, and III residents, respectively. Year III residents had significantly better overall mean rank scores.

Conclusion: Auscultation skills among pediatric residents were suboptimal. Therefore, those skills need to be reinforced and continuously evaluated in our pediatric residency training programs.



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Original Article