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AJR Am J Roentgenol. 2002 Jan;178(1):35-9.

Using a sonographic simulator to assess residents before overnight call.

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  • 1Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, 330 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA 02215, USA.



The purpose of our study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a sonographic simulator in evaluating residents before their taking overnight call.


A sonographic simulator was used to teach and evaluate two consecutive classes of first-year radiology residents. A test consisting of 10 cases was given to each resident. Tests were scored with respect to image quality, measurement accuracy, and interpretation of results. Constructive feedback for improvement and additional training before taking call were provided, as needed. Surveys were given before and after the study to evaluate perceived knowledge and skills.


In the first year of the study, five of eight residents scanned appropriately, giving reasonable differential diagnoses, whereas three residents performed suboptimally and were given feedback, additional training, or both. The sonography curriculum was restructured based on initial resident performance. In the subsequent year, all eight residents performed satisfactorily on the test. Comparing the 2 years of the study, mean test scores increased from 3.5 to 4.0 (p > 0.05) for abdominal test questions and from 3.4 to 4.2 (p < 0.05) for early obstetric and gynecologic test questions. The residents' self-assessment of knowledge and scanning ability also significantly improved.


Sonographic simulation allows objective assessment and identification of weaknesses. These weaknesses can then be addressed before taking call, with resultant improved resident education and the presumed benefit of improved patient care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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