Orthopaedic residents demonstrate retention of point of care ultrasound knowledge after a brief educational session: a quasi experimental study

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Larrivée, Samuel
Rodger, Robyn
Larouche, Patricia
Leiter, Jeff
Jelic, Tomislav
MacDonald, Peter
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Abstract Background Musculoskeletal point of care ultrasound (MSK POCUS) has many uses for orthopaedic surgeons, but orthopaedic trainees are rarely exposed to this modality. The purpose of this project was to assess the usefulness in clinical education of a newly implemented MSK POCUS course in an orthopaedic surgery program. Methods An MSK POCUS course for orthopaedic surgery residents was developed by an interdisciplinary team. Online videos were created to be viewed by residents prior to a half-day long practical course. An online survey covering the level of training of the resident and their previous use of ultrasound (total hours) was completed by the participants prior to the course. Resident’s knowledge acquisition was measured with written pre-course, same-day post-course and six-month follow-up tests. Residents were also scored on a practical shoulder examination immediately after the course and at six-month follow-up. Changes in test scores between time points were evaluated using Wilcoxon signed-rank tests. Results Ten orthopaedic surgery residents underwent the MSK POCUS curriculum. Pre-course interest in MSK-POCUS was moderate (65%) and prior exposure was low (1.5 h mean total experience). Written test scores improved significantly from 50.7 ± 17.0% before to 84.0 ± 10.7% immediately after the course (p < 0.001) and suffered no significant drop at 6 months (score 75.0 ± 8.7%; p = 0.303). Average post-course practical exam score was 78.8 ± 3.1% and decreased to 66.2 ± 11.3% at 6 months (p = 0.012). Residents significantly improved their subjective comfort level with all aspects of ultrasound use at 6 months (p = 0.007–0.018) but did not significantly increase clinical usage frequency. Conclusion An MSK POCUS curriculum was successfully developed and implemented using an interdisciplinary approach. The course succeeded in improving the residents’ knowledge, skills, and comfort with MSK POCUS. This improvement was maintained at 6 months on the written test but did not result in higher frequency of use by the residents.
BMC Medical Education. 2019 Dec 30;19(1):474