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The Impact of a Novel Ultrasound Curriculum on Pre-Clinical Medical Students at University of California San Diego, School of Medicine


While a formal ultrasound education has proven beneficial, its integration into undergraduate medical school curricula is still in its infancy. Many medical schools are still modifying their ultrasound curricula based on student feedback and their own assessment of the effectiveness of the course.16 At University of California San Diego (UCSD), School of Medicine, the ultrasound curriculum has been in existence since 2014, with the first class set to graduate this summer in 2017. As such, this is a pivotal time to assess its strengths and weaknesses and make adjustments to the ultrasound curriculum for medical students in the years to come. This project sought to investigate the impact of the ultrasound curriculum on pre-clinical medical students at UCSD SOM. An anonymous survey was administered to medical students in their third and fourth years of medical school. These were the first two classes who had participated in the ultrasound course during their pre-clinical years. The goal was to assess the students’ overall experience with the ultrasound curriculum. Based on the responses obtained, the course met its stated objective of introducing students to the principles of ultrasound. Respondents were enthusiastically positive about the ultrasound course and many intended to use ultrasound in their future clinical practice. Overall, participants felt that ultrasound enhanced understanding of anatomy, increased clinical correlation with basic science, and improved understanding and skills of the physical exam. An overwhelming majority of students thought that ultrasound enhanced their medical education, that ultrasound should be incorporated throughout all four years, and that all medical schools should provide students with an ultrasound education.

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