Ultrasound for internal medicine physicians :The future of the physical examination

Megan M. Dulohery, Samantha Stoven, Andrew Kurklinksy, Andrew Halvorsen, Furman S. McDonald, Anjali Bhagra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objectives-With the advent of compact ultrasound (US) devices, it is easier for physicians to enhance their physical examinations through the use of US. However, although this new tool is widely available, few internal medicine physicians have US training. This study sought to understand physicians' baseline knowledge and skill, provide education in US principles, and demonstrate that proper use of compact US devices is a skill that can be quickly learned. Methods-Training was performed at the Mayo Clinic in June 2010 and June 2011. The participants consisted of internal medicine residents. The workshop included didactics and hands-on US experiences with human and cadaver models in a simulation center. Pretests and posttests of residents' knowledge, attitudes, and skills with US were completed. We reassessed the 2010 group in the spring of 2012 with a long-term retention survey for knowledge and confidence in viewing images. Results-A total of 136 interns completed the workshop. Thirty-nine residents completed the long-term retention survey. Posttest assessments showed a statistically significant improvement in the knowledge of US imaging, confidence in identifying structures, image identification, and image acquisition (P < .0001). In the long-term retention study, knowledge of US imaging and confidence in identifying structures did decline. Conclusions-This educational intervention resulted in improvement in US knowledge and image acquisition. However, the knowledge diminished over time, suggesting that further education is needed if US is to become an important component of internal medicine training and practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1011
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2014


  • Innovation in medical education
  • Point-of-care ultrasound
  • Simulation education
  • Ultrasound education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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