Creating A Point Of Care Ultrasound Course For Medical Residents: A Model For Curriculum Development
BACKGROUND: Point Of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) is a promising new modality that has many potential applications for clinical medicine. Due to its low cost, broad application, and relative portability POCUS is a useful tool for interests across primary care, hospital based medicine, and specialists. Unfortunately POCUS training for internal medicine residents is largely lacking. Currently in its 5th year, Western Michigan University (WMU) offers primary care POCUS training course to all interested internal medicine residents. Creation of this course however faced many unique barriers. We present a model for incorporating POCUS training into internal medicine training with a specific focus on barriers and applications.
METHODS: The first step in creation of a POCUS course was faculty development. In the years prior to the creation of the POCUS course two WMU faculty participated in week long intensive POCUS courses as part of continuing medical education. Additional guest lecturers were recruited to assist the core faculty in training for their various topics. A flipped classroom model with at home instructional videos and 10 hands on sessions for residents to practice on one another was utilized. Residents who subsequently passed the final exam were invited to participate as POCUS instructors for subsequent years.
CONCLUSION: Creation of an internal medicine residency based POCUS course has many barriers. Specifically initial faculty development and institutional support are major but surmountable barriers. Once a critical mass of dedicated POCUS learners and teachers is reached however, POCUS training can be effectively incorporated into internal medicine residency training.