Developing an Academic Ultrasound Curriculum: Hybrid Learning by and for Busy Clinicians

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Critical Care medicine depends on rapid identification and treatment of life-threatening conditions. Critical care ultrasound (CCUS) expedites evaluation of critically ill patients, though its utility has only recently been recognized. There are no standardized curricula for CCUS education nor is there a universal certification process, indicating a significant opportunity for development of such instruction. Teaching CCUS to a multi-disciplinary group of physicians in an active clinical practice presents unique challenges. We present our experience developing CCUS training at University of Washington Medical Centers. Our CCUS curriculum originated from multi-disciplinary faculty ultrasound enthusiasts providing weekly clinical rounds to Critical Care fellows. Historically, this process was informal and did not result in reliable training. We evaluated published guidelines, conducted a learner and instructor needs assessment, and surveyed the learning environment to provide a foundation for a longitudinal curriculum. Key limitations in the earlier method included busy clinical service, absent learning objectives and assessments, and shortage of faculty to foster continuous learning in a busy clinical setting. However, most learners had similar clinical uses for CCUS, preferred similar pedagogical techniques and were intrinsically motivated. Learning objectives are based on society ultrasound guidelines with faculty-developed multimedia content presented via institutional website combined with weekly ‘Ultrasound Rounds’, constituting a hybrid curriculum. Semi-annual assessment provides formative feedback to learners and the teaching faculty. Learners are asked to practice independently and log their exams for future review. Individual fellow development is supported through faculty mentorship, case presentations, and scholarly writing. Future development of CCUS training will expand the community of practice, instruct additional faculty, adopt longitudinal assessment, and formalize certification.

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  • creator
    Alexander Vengerovsky, James Town, David Carlbom
  • publisher
    University of Washington
  • publisher place
    Seattle, WA
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    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States