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The effect of student training on accuracy of completion of death certificates.BACKGROUND: Death certificates are an invaluable source of statistical and medical information, as well as important legal documents. However, few physicians receive formal training on how to accurately complete them. PURPOSE: To determine if a simple intervention can improve the accuracy of death certificate completion by medical students. METHODS: Participants included all third year medical students undergoing their core Internal Medicine rotation at Mercer University School of Medicine at the Medical Center of Central Georgia. Participation was voluntary and participants completed an approved informed consent. Students were presented a tutorial from the National Association of Medical Examiners website. They were asked to complete a death certificate both before and after the tutorial along with subjective questionnaires. The primary outcome measurement was the difference in scores pre- and post-tutorial. RESULTS: The mean score before the tutorial was 11.75 (+/-3.20) and the mean score post-tutorial was 18.85 (+/-2.56), indicating an increase in scores. The mean difference in pre- and post-tutorial scores was significant (t = 20.39, p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: We found that using a tutorial to teach students how to correctly complete a death certificate was effective.