We administered a 31-question multiple-choice examination to 496 physicians practicing in 13 medical facilities in the United States and Canada to assess their knowledge and understanding of the use of the pulmonary artery catheter and interpretation of data derived from it. The mean test score was 20.7 (67% correct), with an SD of 5.4 and a range of 6 to 31 (19% to 100%). Mean scores varied independently by training, frequency of use of pulmonary artery catheter data in patient treatment, frequency of inserting a pulmonary artery catheter, and whether the respondent's hospital was a primary medical school affiliate. Given the variability in physician understanding of the pulmonary artery catheter, we believe that credentialing policies should be reevaluated and that consideration should be given to restricting its use to individuals with documented competency.
Iberti TJ, Fischer EP, Leibowitz AB, Panacek EA, Silverstein JH, Albertson TE. A Multicenter Study of Physicians' Knowledge of the Pulmonary Artery Catheter. JAMA. 1990;264(22):2928–2932. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450220094030