BACKGROUND: Point-of-care ultrasound is a rapidly evolving component of internal medicine (IM) residency training. The optimal approach for teaching this skill remains unclear.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine whether the addition of a longitudinal ultrasound curriculum to a stand-alone workshop for ultrasound training improved knowledge retention in IM residents.
METHODS: We conducted an observational cohort study from July to December 2013. All postgraduate year (PGY)-1 IM residents attended an ultrasound workshop during orientation. Ability to identify static images of ascites, kidney, thyroid, pleural fluid, inferior vena cava, and internal jugular vein was assessed immediately after the workshop. An ultrasound curriculum, including morning report and ultrasound rounds, was initiated during the inpatient medicine rotation. PGY-1 residents were randomly assigned to participate in the longitudinal curriculum. Six months later, we conducted a follow-up survey with all PGY-1 residents.
RESULTS: Forty-eight PGY-1 residents (67%) completed the postworkshop test and the 6-month follow-up test. Of these, 50% (24 of 48) had participated in the ultrasound curriculum. Residents not exposed to the curriculum showed a decline in the identification of ascites, pleural effusion, and internal jugular vein at 6 months (P < .05), whereas those who participated in the curriculum maintained their performance (P < .05).
CONCLUSIONS: Six months after exposure to a longitudinal ultrasound curriculum, residents were more likely to correctly identify ultrasound images of ascites, kidney, and pleural effusion. The addition of a longitudinal ultrasound curriculum may result in improved knowledge retention in IM residents.