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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effect of a Medical Student Emergency Ultrasound Clerkship on Number of Emergency Department Ultrasounds

Creative Commons 'BY-NC' version 4.0 license

Objective: To determine whether a medical student emergency ultrasound clerkship has an effect on the number of patients undergoing ultrasonography and the number of total scans in the emergency department.

Methods: We conducted a prospective, single-blinded study of scanning by emergency medicine residents and attendings with and without medical students. Rotating ultrasound medical students were assigned to work equally on all days of the week. We collected the number of patients scanned and the number of scans, as well as participation of resident and faculty.

Results: In seven months 2,186 scans were done on the 109 days with students and 707 scans on the 72 days without them. Data on 22 days was not recorded. A median of 13 patients per day were scanned with medical students (CI 12-15) versus seven (CI 6-9) when not. In addition, the median number of scans was 18 per day with medical students (CI 16-20) versus eight (CI 6-10) without them.

Conclusion: There were significantly more patients scanned and scans done when ultrasound medical students were present. [West J Emerg Med. 2010; 11:31-34].

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