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BMC Med Educ. 2018 Jul 18;18(1):169. doi: 10.1186/s12909-018-1275-2.

An economical strategy for early medical education in ultrasound.

Author information

1
Department of Basic Sciences, California Northstate University College of Medicine, 9700 West Taron Drive, Elk Grove, California, 95757, USA.
2
Department of Basic Sciences, California Northstate University College of Medicine, 9700 West Taron Drive, Elk Grove, California, 95757, USA. nenalundgreen@gmail.com.
3
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Rock Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, 255 East Center Street, Ivins, UT, 84738, USA. nenalundgreen@gmail.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A movement to include ultrasound training in undergraduate medical education is slowly taking place. However, many educational institutions are hesitant to include formal ultrasound training as a part of their curricula due to curricular time constraints, high cost of ultrasound equipment, and a lack of sufficient faculty skilled with ultrasound. We suggest that an economical ultrasound training strategy is needed to resolve these obstacles and enable hesitant medical programs to include ultrasound training.

METHODS:

Twenty-eight first year medical students volunteered to attend extra-curricular ultrasound training sessions covering topics related to 11 commonly used sonographical imaging categories. Study assessments included subjective pre/post-training skill evaluation surveys, and objective numerical scores awarded by the session instructor during real-time evaluation of each participant's performance in obtaining each target ultrasound view.

RESULTS:

A Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed rank test was performed to evaluate the difference between pre-training and post-training survey questions. P values < 0.05 were considered significant. Moreover, following analysis the p value for all test was found to be < 0.0001. Of the 308 total ultrasound-related tasks attempted collectively by all 28 participants, only 7 (2.3%) tasks were deemed unsuccessful by an instructor.

CONCLUSIONS:

The training program presented in this study requires one faculty member, a single ultrasound machine, and time to conduct six 30-min training sessions with small groups of students over 4 weeks. Many medical schools are concerned that they don't have adequate time or resources to include ultrasound training in their curricula. Our intention is to negate these concerns by providing a simple and practical training method that is both temporally and fiscally economical.

KEYWORDS:

Economical ultrasound training; Medical education; Ultrasound education; Undergraduate medical education

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