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Multi-Institution Cooperative Ultrasound Program for Midwest Critical Care Fellowships

University of Kansas Medical Center; University of Colorado; University of Wisconsin; University of Iowa; University of New Mexico; Rush University

Kansas City, KS

Abstract Authors: Lewis Satterwhite, MD; Tristan Huie, MD; Ken Ly-Kew, MD; Piere Kory MD, MPH; Michele Boivin, MD; Carl Kaplan, MD; and Greg Schmidt, MD

Program Director: Heath Latham, MD



Point of Care Ultrasound has a growing evidence base for best practice in Critical Care. While official ACGME requirements surrounding US remain narrow, many fellows and fellowship programs are seeking methods for improved efficiency in teaching this evolving field. A group of educators skilled in Point of Care Ultrasound application combined to teach 46 fellows from many programs across 7 states during a 2 day symposium hosted at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. The curriculum included cardiac, pulmonary, pleural, vascular and abdominal applications. This was the 4th Annual Midwest Point of Care Ultrasound Symposium. It has grown each year, reaching more fellows and more programs each year.


A two day US curriculum involving lectures, hands-on US scanning with live models and image interpretation with extensive Critical care pathology was delivered to Fellows from across the Midwest at the University of Iowa on July 14-15, 2016. A pretest knowledge assessment and survey of interest and aptitude was obtained. After the course, a post course knowledge assessment was also completed. RESULTS 46 trainee / learners participated with 8 symposium faculty members. In the pre-test, 59% of the questions were answered correctly. In the posttest, 83% of the questions were answered correctly (p value < 0.05 using the paired T test). Survey results demonstrated that pre-course there was a strong belief that Critical Care Ultrasound was important and this remained consistent in the post-course assessment. Fellows had a low to moderate confidence in their ability to obtain and interpret images prior to the course. This confidence improved after course. The performance on the knowledge based test was variable prior to the course and this improved. There was a low to moderate level of prior experience with ultrasound before the course. Fellows reported concern that local lack of equipment or local champions to assist with consolidation of learning may impair further development of Point of Care Ultrasound knowledge and skill development.


Shared resources across multiple institutions allowed training of a very high number of fellows from a geographically diverse area. Fellows report a high level of interest in learning this material. Our data concur with previous reports that knowledge can improve with a short high intensity curriculum. Other variables such as local expertise and equipment availability need to be addressed to ensure that knowledge and skills gained can be consolidated and extended. Further research could help to determine if local characteristics such as equipment, faculty expertise and existence of a formal curriculum can predict if fellows are able to retain or improve knowledge and skills throughout a multi-year training program.