BACKGROUND: Point-of-care Ultrasound is a relative new diagnostic tool for internists. Since 2019, it is a mandatory skill for internal medicine residents in the Netherlands but an ultrasound curriculum still has to be developed. In this study we explored the current ultrasound training program and educational wishes from internal medicine residents.
METHODS: We have undertaken a national study in March 2019 using an online questionnaire. All internal medicine residents in the Netherlands were invited to respond.
RESULTS: A total of 247 from 959 (26%) residents completed the questionnaire. The majority of residents (78.6%) received less than 10 h of ultrasound training and 40% has never made an ultrasound at all. Almost all residents (92%) indicate that ultrasound is a useful skill for the internist. They report that the most useful applications are ultrasound of the inferior vena cava, kidneys, abdominal free fluid, deep vein thrombosis, heart and lungs. The main perceived barrier to perform ultrasound is the lack of availability of experts for bedside supervision.
CONCLUSION: This study confirms the need for a national ultrasound curriculum for internal medicine residents and may contribute to the development of an ultrasound curriculum in line with residents educational needs. We should begin the curriculum with the previously mentioned applications, perceived by internal residents as most useful. Additional applications can be appended in the future. Finally it is necessary to expand the number of experts to supervise the residents.