Innovative Virtual Multi-Specialty Point-of-Care Ultrasound Rotation for 4th Year Medical Students during COVID-19 Improves Ultrasound Knowledge and Image Interpretation
The demand for Point-of-care Ultrasound instruction is on the rise in medical schools across the country. The COVID-19 pandemic had limited in-person instruction and introduced multiple challenges for educators to teach course didactics and hands-on skills virtually. As the demand for online learning continues to increase, accessibility of virtual PoCUS education training and blended learning is paramount. The objective was to enhance the online fourth-year curriculum and investigate whether Point-of-Care Ultrasound (PoCUS) could be taught virtually. The COVID-19 PoCUS rotation was designed for 141 fourth-year medical students attending the Wake Forest School of Medicine as part of the Integrated Ultrasound Curriculum. the unique virtual aspect and the course being a new formal rotation, a continuous needs assessment was utilized to re-evaluate the course each day. The course objectives included learning the physics of ultrasound, ultrasound probe techniques, image acquisition, standard PoCUS views, image interpretation for common pathology, how to incorporate PoCUS into clinical decision making and the utility of ultrasound guided procedures.