Ultrasonography performed by primary care residents for abdominal aortic aneurysm screening

J Gen Intern Med. 2001 Dec;16(12):845-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2001.01128.x.


A prospective pilot study was undertaken to assess a protocol to educate primary care residents in how to personally perform ultrasonography for abdominal aortic aneurysm screening. Resident exams were proctored by a primary care physician trained in ultrasonography and were scored on the level of competence in doing the examination. Patients had ultrasound performed by a resident, followed by repeat examination by the vascular lab. Primary care resident abdominal aortic imaging was achieved in 79 of 80 attempts. Four abdominal aortic aneurysms were identified. There were 75 normal examinations; resident ultrasonography results were consistent with the results of the vascular lab. Ten residents achieved an abdominal aortic ultrasound-independent competence level after an average of 3.4 proctored exams. The main outcome of this study is that a primary care resident, with minimal training in ultrasonography imaging, is able to rapidly learn the technique of ultrasonography imaging of the abdominal aorta.

MeSH terms

  • Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal / diagnostic imaging*
  • Clinical Competence
  • Educational Measurement
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine / education*
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Models, Cardiovascular*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Teaching / methods*
  • Ultrasonography