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Open Access Research article

Effectiveness of an Ultrasound Training Module for Internal Medicine Residents

Mira T Keddis1, Michael W Cullen2, Darcy A Reed4, Andrew J Halvorsen5, Furman S McDonald3, Paul Y Takahashi4 and Anjali Bhagra4*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Nephrology, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA

2 Division of Cardiovascular Diseases, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA

3 Division of General Internal Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA

4 Division of Community Internal Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA

5 Department: Internal Medicine Residency Office of Educational Innovations, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN, 55905, USA

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BMC Medical Education 2011, 11:75  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-11-75

Published: 28 September 2011

Abstract

Background

Few internal medicine residency programs provide formal ultrasound training. This study sought to assess the feasibility of simulation based ultrasound training among first year internal medicine residents and measure their comfort at effectively using ultrasound to perform invasive procedures before and after this innovative model of ultrasound training.

Methods

A simulation based ultrasound training module was implemented during intern orientation that incorporated didactic and practical experiences in a simulation and cadaver laboratory. Participants completed anonymous pre and post surveys in which they reported their level of confidence in the use of ultrasound technology and their comfort in identifying anatomic structures including: lung, pleural effusion, bowel, peritoneal cavity, ascites, thyroid, and internal jugular vein. Survey items were structured on a 5-point Likert scales (1 = extremely unconfident, 5 = extremely confident).

Results

Seventy-five out of seventy-six interns completed the pre-intervention survey and 55 completed the post-survey. The mean confidence score (SD) increased to 4.00 (0.47) (p < 0.0001). The mean (SD) comfort ranged from 3.61 (0.84) for peritoneal cavity to 4.48 (0.62) for internal jugular vein. Confidence in identifying all anatomic structures showed an increase over the pre-intervention means (p < 0.002).

Conclusion

A simulation based ultrasound learning module can improve the self-reported confidence with which residents identify structures important in performing invasive ultrasound guided procedures. Incorporating an ultrasound module into residents' education may address perceived need for ultrasound training, improve procedural skills, and enhance patient safety.