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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Educational Assessment of Medical Student Rotation in Emergency Ultrasound


Background: Medical student ultrasound education is sparse. In 2002, we began the first medical student rotation in emergency ultrasound. Objective: To evaluate if medical students can learn and retain sonographic skills during a two- or four-week elective. Methods: We gave students an exam on the first and last days of the rotation. Six months later, students took the exam a third time. A control group was used for comparison. Results: Over a 19-month period, we enrolled 45 students (25 on the two-week and 20 on the four-week elective). The four-week student post-test score was significantly better than the two- week posttest score (81% vs. 72%, p=0.003). On the six-month exam, the four-week student post-test score was significantly better than the two-week post-test score (77% vs 69%, p=0.008). The control group did not statistically improve. Conclusion: Medical students can learn bedside ultrasound interpretation with clinical integration and retain the knowledge six months later.

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