Ultrafest: A Novel Approach to Ultrasound in Medical Education Leads to Improvement in Written and Clinical Examinations
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Ultrafest: A Novel Approach to Ultrasound in Medical Education Leads to Improvement in Written and Clinical Examinations

  • Author(s): Connolly, Kiah
  • Beier, Lancelot
  • Langdorf, Mark I.
  • Anderson, Craig L.
  • Fox, John C.
  • et al.
Abstract

Introduction: Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness of hands-on training at a bedside ultrasound (US) symposium (“Ultrafest”) to improve both clinical knowledge and image acquisition skills of medical students. Primary outcome measure was improvement in multiple choice questions on pulmonary or Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma (FAST) US knowledge. Secondary outcome was improvement in image acquisition for either pulmonary or FAST. 

Methods: Prospective cohort study of 48 volunteers at “Ultrafest,” a free symposium where students received five contact training hours. Students were evaluated before and after training for proficiency in either pulmonary US or FAST. Proficiency was assessed by clinical knowledge through written multiple-choice exam, and clinical skills through accuracy of image acquisition. We used paired sample t-tests with students as their own controls. 

Results: Pulmonary knowledge scores increased by a mean of 10.1 points (95% CI [8.9-11.3], p<0.00005), from 8.4 to a posttest average of 18.5/21 possible points. The FAST knowledge scores increased by a mean of 7.5 points (95% CI [6.3-8.7] p<0.00005), from 8.1 to a posttest average of 15.6/ 21. We analyzed clinical skills data on 32 students. The mean score was 1.7 pretest and 4.7 posttest of 12 possible points. Mean improvement was 3.0 points (p<0.00005) overall, 3.3 (p=0.0001) for FAST, and 2.6 (p=0.003) for the pulmonary US exam. 

Conclusion: This study suggests that a symposium on US can improve clinical knowledge, but is limited in achieving image acquisition for pulmonary and FAST US assessments. US training external to official medical school curriculum may augment students’ education. [West J Emerg Med. 2015;16(1):–0.]

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