Evaluation of a point-of-care ultrasound curriculum and ocular phantom in residency training

J Ultrasound. 2021 Apr 2. doi: 10.1007/s40477-021-00578-8. Online ahead of print.


Specialized training in ocular ultrasound is not a focus for most emergency medicine residencies, despite the fact that it allows physicians to quickly and accurately identify ocular pathology and prioritize emergency ophthalmological consultations. Therefore, we tested the value of utilizing normal and pathologic ocular ultrasound phantoms as a training tool for residents. Twenty emergency medicine residents were given a pre-test including written and practical skills diagnosis of ocular phantom pathologies, a short video on common ocular pathologies, practice time with the phantoms and a post-test including written and scanning components. Residents were then asked to complete an overall evaluation of the learning activity. After didactic and hands-on training with phantoms, residents demonstrated a significant increase in knowledge, skills and preparedness for diagnosing real patients with ocular pathologies. Overall, the phantoms allowed residents an unrestricted opportunity to practice and refine their technique. This study provided a framework for teaching emergency medicine residents the basics of ocular US through a brief didactic and practical intervention using novel ocular pathology US phantoms. Our curriculum resulted in both objective and subjective improvement in residents' performance and understanding of ocular US.

Keywords: Medical education; Ocular ultrasound; Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS); Ultrasound phantom.