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Do scan numbers predict point-of-care ultrasound use and accuracy in senior emergency medicine residents?

Published:January 23, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2021.01.037
      Total number of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) scans is frequently used as an indirect measure of ultrasound competency in Emergency Medicine (EM) residency
      • Ahern M.
      • Mallin M.P.
      • Weitzel S.
      • Madsen T.
      • Hunt P.
      Variability in ultrasound education among emergency medicine residencies.
      ,
      • Damewood S.C.
      • Leo M.
      • Bailitz J.
      • et al.
      Tools for measuring clinical ultrasound competency: recommendations from the ultrasound competency work group.
      ,
      • Schmidt J.N.
      • Kendall J.
      • Smalley C.
      Competency assessment in senior emergency medicine residents for core ultrasound skills.
      ,
      • Boniface K.S.
      • Ogle K.
      • Aalam A.
      • et al.
      Direct observation assessment of ultrasound competency using a mobile standardized direct observation tool application with comparison to asynchronous quality assurance evaluation.
      ,
      • Duanmu Y.
      • Henwood P.C.
      • Takhar S.S.
      • et al.
      Correlation of OSCE performance and point-of-care ultrasound scan numbers among a cohort of emergency medicine residents.
      ,
      • Amini R.
      • Adhikari S.
      • Fiorello A.
      Ultrasound competency assessment in emergency medicine residency programs.
      ]. 150 ultrasound scans has been set as a graduation milestone by the American Board of Emergency Medicine and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education [
      • The Emergency Medicine Milestone Project: A joint initiative of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the American Board of Emergency Medicine
      ] This indirect marker is presumably relied upon because it is difficult to accurately measure competency. However, the relationship between scan numbers and interpretation accuracy is not well understood. Prior studies on POCUS learning curves have demonstrated variable results pertaining to scan numbers and image interpretation amongst various applications [
      • Blehar D.J.
      • Barton B.
      • Gaspari R.J.
      Learning curves in emergency ultrasound education. Burton JH, ed.
      ,
      • Jang T.B.
      • Ruggeri W.
      • Dyne P.
      • Kaji A.H.
      The learning curve of resident physicians using emergency ultrasonography for cholelithiasis and cholecystitis: RUQ ultrasound learning.
      ].
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