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West J Emerg Med. 2016 Nov;17(6):734-740. Epub 2016 Sep 12.

Pilot Point-of-Care Ultrasound Curriculum at Harvard Medical School: Early Experience.

Author information

1
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
2
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
3
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Radiology, Boston, Massachusetts.
4
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
5
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Harvard Medical School, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Charlestown, Massachusetts.
6
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Emergency Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
7
Harvard Medical School, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, Immunology, Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is expanding across all medical specialties. As the benefits of US technology are becoming apparent, efforts to integrate US into pre-clinical medical education are growing. Our objective was to describe our process of integrating POCUS as an educational tool into the medical school curriculum and how such efforts are perceived by students.

METHODS:

This was a pilot study to introduce ultrasonography into the Harvard Medical School curriculum to first- and second-year medical students. Didactic and hands-on sessions were introduced to first-year students during gross anatomy and to second-year students in the physical exam course. Student-perceived attitudes, understanding, and knowledge of US, and its applications to learning the physical exam, were measured by a post-assessment survey.

RESULTS:

All first-year anatomy students (n=176) participated in small group hands-on US sessions. In the second-year physical diagnosis course, 38 students participated in four sessions. All students (91%) agreed or strongly agreed that additional US teaching should be incorporated throughout the four-year medical school curriculum.

CONCLUSION:

POCUS can effectively be integrated into the existing medical school curriculum by using didactic and small group hands-on sessions. Medical students perceived US training as valuable in understanding human anatomy and in learning physical exam skills. This innovative program demonstrates US as an additional learning modality. Future goals include expanding on this work to incorporate US education into all four years of medical school.

PMID:
27833681
PMCID:
PMC5102600
DOI:
10.5811/westjem.2016.8.31387
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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