ABSTRACT: Acquisition and Long-term Retention of Bedside Ultrasound Skills in First-Year Medical Students
The purpose of this study was to assess bedside ultrasound skill acquisition and retention in medical students after completion of the first year of a new undergraduate bedside ultrasound curriculum at McGill University.
Skill acquisition was assessed in first-year medical students (n = 195) on completion of their bedside ultrasound instruction. Instruction included 6 clinically based 60-minute practical teaching sessions evenly spaced throughout the academic year. Students’ ability to meet course objectives was measured according to a 4-point Likert rating scale. Evaluations were performed by both instructors and the students themselves. Retention of skill acquisition was evaluated 8 months later on a year-end practical examination.
The mean percentage ± SD of students assigned a rating of “strongly agree” or “agree” by instructors was 98% ± 0.4% for all 6 teaching sessions (strongly agree, 52% ± 3%; agree, 46% ± 3%). According to student self-evaluations, the mean percentage of students assigned a rating of strongly agree was significantly greater than the percentage assigned by instructors for all teaching sessions (86% ± 2% versus 52% ± 3%; P< .0005). Evaluation of skill retention on the year-end examination showed that 91% ± 2% of students were assigned a rating of strongly agree or agree for their ability to demonstrate skills learned 8 months previously. Ninety-five percent of students reported that bedside ultrasound improved their understanding of anatomy for all 6 teaching sessions (mean, 95% ± 0.01%).
These results demonstrate that first-year medical students show acquisition and long-term retention of basic ultrasound skills on completion of newly implemented bedside ultrasound instruction.