Training the Trainer: Faculty From Across Multiple Specialties Show Improved Confidence, Knowledge and Skill in Point of Care Ultrasound After a Short Intervention

Cureus. 2020 Dec 1;12(12):e11821. doi: 10.7759/cureus.11821.


Objectives Lack of faculty skill and confidence in performing and teaching point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) remains a significant barrier to implementation of a longitudinal ultrasound curriculum in undergraduate medical education. Our objective was to assess faculty comfort, knowledge and skill with performing and teaching POCUS before and after a focused workshop. Methods This was a prospective study assessing faculty from multiple specialties. Faculty completed a pre- and post-workshop survey and ultrasound knowledge assessment, and a post-workshop objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) to assess ability to perform POCUS. Differences between pre- and post-workshop responses were analyzed using Fisher's Exact and Wilcoxon tests, and statistical significance was accepted for p<0.05. Results We analyzed data on 78 faculty from multiple disciplines. Faculty had a median of 7.5 years of experience with medical student teaching. Sixty-eight percent of faculty had performed <25 prior ultrasound (US) examinations. Comparing pre- to post-workshop responses, we found significant reductions in barriers to using US, and improved confidence with using, obtaining and interpreting POCUS (p<0.01). Faculty felt significantly more comfortable with the idea of teaching medical students POCUS (p<0.01). POCUS knowledge improved from 50% to 86% (p<0.01). On the post-workshop OSCE, 90% of anatomic structures were correctly identified with a median image quality of 4 out of 5. Conclusion After attending a six-hour workshop, faculty across multiple specialties had increased confidence with using and teaching POCUS, showed improved knowledge, and were able to correctly identify pertinent anatomic structures with ultrasound while obtaining good image quality.

Keywords: point-of-care-ultrasound; pre-post study; undergraduate medical education.