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Comment & Response
May 10, 2016

Presence of Medical Students and Length of Stay in the Emergency Department

Author Affiliations
  • 1William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, England
  • 2University of York, York, England
JAMA. 2016;315(18):2019. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.1577

To the Editor Mr Ioannides and colleagues1 examined 15 years of emergency department (ED) data and determined that length of stay was 5 minutes longer when medical students were present vs when they were absent. We agree that this is unlikely to be clinically significant.

The authors provided substantial ED data, acknowledged the absence of visit-level data, but omitted what the students actually did during their clerships. They stated “… students were assigned approximately nine 8- to-12-hour shifts over 3 weeks, during which they were expected to evaluate and follow-up several patients presenting to the ED.”