Original Publication
Open Access

Perioperative Emergency Manuals in Clinical Clerkships: Curricula on “Why, How, and When to Use” for Teaching Medical Students

Published: March 18, 2015 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10056

Included in this publication:

  • Instructor's Guide.docx
  • Facilitator's Notes.docx
  • Surgery Clerkship Post-Orientation Survey.docx
  • Why Use Emergency Manuals.mp4
  • How and When to Use Emergency Manuals.mp4

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: Emergency manuals are context-relevant sets of cognitive aids or crisis checklists. The goal of this resource is to use engaging videos to illustrate the role of emergency manuals for clinical medical students beginning their surgery or anesthesia operating room-based clerkships. Methods: The videos utilize professionally produced pen-and-ink graphic illustrations with voiceover and interactive elements. Using blended learning tools helps to familiarize medical students with emergency manuals and the appropriate use of cognitive aids in a memorable way. We anticipate that this method of instruction is a feasible, effective, and scalable method of appropriately engaging medical students in ongoing patient safety and quality improvement initiatives nationally. Results: The Stanford University School of Medicine has integrated these video trainings into its orientation for all core surgical clerkship students since 2013. The sessions have been well received by both leadership and participating medical students. Both course evaluations and self-assessment surveys of student knowledge and attitudes regarding emergency manuals are very promising. Discussion: We anticipate that training medical students in the principles and use of emergency manuals will enhance their education regarding management of critical events in the operating room. The recent roll-out of emergency manuals in our institution, along with resident and clinical staff training, makes operating room rotations a particularly resource-rich and applicable setting for medical student education before and after critical events or near misses.

Educational Objectives

After viewing these videos, students will be able to:

  1. Discuss the key evidence supporting the use of emergency manuals.
  2. Provide examples of three events in which an emergency manual can be effectively used by medical students in an operating room setting.
  3. Describe where to download a perioperative emergency manual, and where to find more resources for emergency manual implementation and use.
  4. If present, locate a physical copy of emergency manual in an operating room.

Author Information

  • Sara Goldhaber-Fiebert, MD: Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Vivian Lei, MD: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • Sylvia Bereknyei Merrell, DrPH, MS: Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Kiruthiga Nandagopal, PhD, MS: Stanford University School of Medicine

Lei was awarded the prize, as a senior medical student, for best oral presentation. Goldhaber-Fiebert was senior mentor, initiated the research/grant, and made the educational videos.

None to report.

None to report.

Prior Presentations
Lei V, Bereknyei S,  Nandagopal K, Goldhaber-Fiebert, SN. Emergency manual training: using innovative online video modules to prepare surgical clerkship students for effective cognitive aid use. Oral abstract presentation at: AAMC Western Group on Educational Affairs Conference; March 2014; Honolulu, Hawaii.


Goldhaber-Fiebert S, Lei V, Bereknyei Merrell S, Nandagopal K. Perioperative emergency manuals in clinical clerkships: curricula on “why, how, and when to use” for teaching medical students. MedEdPORTAL. 2015;11:10056. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10056