Houston-Based Continuing Medical Education Company Improves Physicians’ EKG Interpretation Skills Around the World

Jerry W. Jones, MD FACEP

…almost everyone has grossly overestimated their skill at ECG interpretation.

The electrocardiogram (EKG) is one of the most frequently ordered medical tests. It is quick, relatively inexpensive and contains volumes of information. Yet, how many people are aware that their physician or nurse practitioner typically has only an elementary-level skill at interpreting the EKG? How many know that failure to correctly interpret an EKG is one of the leading causes of malpractice litigation in the United States? How many people know that – despite those facts – EKG interpretation is still not taught in medical schools or residency programs? Surprised?

In 2011 Jerry W. Jones, MD FACEP began retirement after more than 35 years of practicing internal medicine and emergency medicine. It wasn’t long, however, before a colleague called him for some help interpreting a “complicated” EKG. After looking at the EKG, Dr. Jones was surprised to see that it really wasn’t complicated at all – in fact, it was basically normal! What concerned him most was the EKG interpretation skill of his colleague who had also been practicing for years. During his career, Dr. Jones had been requested by hospital department chairmen to look at EKGs in which important and dangerous findings had been overlooked by another physician with unfortunate outcomes. While some of the findings were indeed very subtle, some were quite obvious. Dr. Jones began to realize that many physicians read EKGs at only a beginners’ level and many more rely solely on the interpretation by the EKG machine itself – which is notoriously unreliable! It was at that point that the concept for Medicus of Houston was born.

“I teach emergency…

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