National Delphi Survey on Anesthesiology Resident Training in Perioperative Ultrasound

J Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2022 Nov;36(11):4022-4031. doi: 10.1053/j.jvca.2022.07.019. Epub 2022 Jul 21.


Objective: To establish agreement among nationwide experts through a Delphi process on the key components of perioperative ultrasound and the recommended minimum number of examinations that should be performed by a resident upon graduation.

Design: A prospective cross-sectional study.

Setting: A survey on multiinstitutional academic medical centers.

Participants: Anesthesiology residency program directors and/or experts in perioperative ultrasound.

Interventions: A list of components and examinations recommended for anesthesiology resident training in perioperative ultrasound was developed based on guidelines and 2 survey rounds among a steering committee of 10 experts. A questionnaire asking for a rating of each component on a 5-point Likert scale subsequently was sent to an expert panel of 120 anesthesiology residency program directors across the United States. An agreement of at least 70% of participants, rating a component as 4 or 5, was compulsory to list a component as essential for anesthesiology resident training in perioperative ultrasound.

Measurements and main results: The nationwide survey's response rate was 62.5%, and agreement was reached after 2 Delphi rounds. The final list included 44 essential components for basic ultrasound physics and knobology, cardiac ultrasound, lung ultrasound, and ultrasound-guided vascular access. Agreement was not reached for abdominal ultrasound, gastric ultrasound, and ultrasound-guided airway assessment. Agreement for the recommended minimum number of examinations that should be performed by a resident upon graduation included 50 each for transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography, and 20 each for lung ultrasound, ultrasound-guided central line, and ultrasound-guided arterial line placements.

Conclusions: The recommendations outlined in this survey can be used to establish standardized training for perioperative ultrasound by anesthesiology residency programs.

Keywords: Delphi survey; anesthesiology residents; training in perioperative ultrasound.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesiology* / education
  • Clinical Competence
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Prospective Studies
  • United States