Background: Ever-expanding uses have been developed for ultrasound, including its focused use at the bedside, often referred to as point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS). POCUS has been well developed and integrated into training in numerous fields, but remains relatively undefined in internal medicine training. This training has been shown to be desirable to both educators and trainees, but has proven difficult to implement. We sought to create a road map for internal medicine residency programs looking to create a POCUS program.
Results: Four internal medicine residency programs that have successfully integrated POCUS training describe their programs, as well as the principles and concepts underlying program development and execution. Review of educational teaching and assessment methods is outlined, as well as suggestions for integration into an already busy residency curriculum. Commonly reported barriers to POCUS implementation such as faculty development, equipment purchasing, resident supervision and quality assurance are addressed. Specific POCUS applications to target are touched upon, and a comparison of applications taught within these four programs suggest that there may be enough similarities to suggest a common curriculum. Finally, future needs are discussed.
Conclusions: POCUS can be successfully taught to internal medicine residents as a part of internal medicine training. Many common elements and principles are evident on review of these four described successful programs. Future support, in the form of endorsed medical society guidelines, will be needed before POCUS is universally incorporated across internal medicine residency training programs.
Keywords: Education; Internal medicine; Point-of-care; Residents.