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Medical News & Perspectives
September 19, 2017

Medical Students Fall Short on Blood Pressure Check Challenge

JAMA. 2017;318(11):991-992. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.11255

A third of US adults have hypertension, a major risk factor for heart disease, which is the leading cause of death in the country. Additionally, more than a quarter of the population has higher than normal blood pressure (BP), or prehypertension. With stats like that, one might assume checking BP would be at the top of the list of medical student proficiencies. Yet a recent report suggests otherwise. Only 1 out of 159 medical students correctly performed all 11 elements in a BP check challenge with simulated patients, and the average number of steps performed properly was an abysmal 4.1.

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