Joshua S. Rempell , MD, MPH * , † , Fidencio Saldana , MD * , ‡ , Donald DiSalvo , MD * , ¶ , Navin Kumar , MD * , § , Michael B. Stone , MD * , † , Wilma Chan , MD * , † , Jennifer Luz , MD * , || , Vicki E. Noble , MD * , # , Andrew Liteplo , MD * , # , Heidi Kimberly , MD * , † , Minna J. Kohler , MD **
12 September 2016
Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is expanding across all medical specialties. As the benefits of US technology are becoming apparent, efforts to integrate US into pre-clinical medical education are growing. Our objective was to describe our process of integrating POCUS as an educational tool into the medical school curriculum and how such efforts are perceived by students.
This was a pilot study to introduce ultrasonography into the Harvard Medical School curriculum to first- and second-year medical students. Didactic and hands-on sessions were introduced to first-year students during gross anatomy and to second-year students in the physical exam course. Student-perceived attitudes, understanding, and knowledge of US, and its applications to learning the physical exam, were measured by a post-assessment survey.
All first-year anatomy students (n=176) participated in small group hands-on US sessions. In the second-year physical diagnosis course, 38 students participated in four sessions. All students (91%) agreed or strongly agreed that additional US teaching should be incorporated throughout the four-year medical school curriculum.
POCUS can effectively be integrated into the existing medical school curriculum by using didactic and small group hands-on sessions. Medical students perceived US training as valuable in understanding human anatomy and in learning physical exam skills. This innovative program demonstrates US as an additional learning modality. Future goals include expanding on this work to incorporate US education into all four years of medical school.