A longitudinal curriculum in point-of-care ultrasonography improves medical knowledge and psychomotor skills among internal medicine residents

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Despite its growing popularity and clinical utility among hospital-based physicians, there are no formal competency requirements nor training standards for United States based Internal Medicine Residencies for learning point-of-care ultrasonography (POCUS). The purpose of this investigation was to study the impact and effectiveness of a novel POCUS curriculum for an Internal Medicine (IM) residency program. Patients and methods: This was a Single-Group Educational Quasi-Experiment involving Categorical and Preliminary Internal Medicine Residents in Post-Graduate Years 1 through 3 at a single United States academic tertiary center. The study period was from January 1, 2017, through June 30, 2017, during which time the residents participated in monthly modules including didactics and hands-on ultrasound scanning skills with live models. Participants completed a comprehensive knowledge examination at the beginning and end of the six-month period. Participants were also tested regarding hands-on image acquisition and interpretation immediately before and after the hands-on skills labs. The primary outcome measure was performance improvement in a comprehensive medical knowledge assessment. Results: In total, 42 residents consented for participation. The residents’ monthly rotations were adjusted in order to accommodate the new educational process. Among 29 participants with complete data sets for analysis, the mean (SD) comprehensive knowledge examination score improved from 60.9% before curriculum to 70.2% after curriculum completion (P<0.001). Subgroup analysis determined that improvement in medical knowledge required attending at least 2 out of the 6 (33%) educational sessions. Attendance at hands-on skills labs correlated significantly with improvement; didactics alone did not. Conclusion: A longitudinal POCUS curriculum consisting of both didactic sessions and handson skills labs improves knowledge, image acquisition, and interpretation skills of residents. Having this curriculum span at least 6 months provides learners the opportunity to attend multiple classes which strengthens learning through repetition while also providing learners flexibility in schedule.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Boniface MP; Helgeson SA; Cowdell JC; Simon LV; Hiroto BT; Werlang ME; Robison SW; Edwards GG; Lewis MD; Maniaci MJ
  • Start Page

  • 935
  • End Page

  • 942
  • Volume

  • 10