National survey of point-of-care ultrasound scholarly tracks in emergency medicine residency programs

Stephen Alerhand, Elaine Situ-Lacasse, Christine Ramdin, Michael Gottlieb

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Residency scholarly tracks are educational programs, designed to help trainees develop an area of expertise. Although the breadth of residency point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) education has developed considerably in recent years, there is no literature to date describing scholarly tracks specifically in POCUS. In this study we sought to determine the prevalence, characteristics, and outcomes of POCUS scholarly tracks in emergency medicine (EM). Methods: This was a cross-sectional survey of EM residency programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Surveys were distributed between March-August 2020 using a listserv followed by targeted emails to residency and ultrasound leadership. We summarized data using descriptive statistics, and performed logistic regression to identify factors associated with a POCUS scholarly track. Results: Of 267 residency programs 199 (74.5%) completed the survey. Fifty-seven (28.6%) had a POCUS scholarly track as of the 2019-2020 academic year. Scholarly tracks in POCUS were more common in university-based/academic sites and larger residency programs. Of the 57 programs with POCUS scholarly tracks, 48 (84.2%) required residents to present at least one POCUS lecture, 45 (78.9%) required residents to serve as instructor at a hands-on workshop, and 42 (73.7%) required residents to participate in quality assurance of departmental POCUS scans. Only 28 (49.1%) tracks had a structured curriculum, and 26 (45.6%) required POCUS research. In total, 300 EM residents completed a POCUS scholarly track over the past three academic years, with a median of 4 (2-9) per program. Seventy-five (25.0%) proceeded to a clinical ultrasound fellowship after residency graduation, with a median of 1 (interquartile range 0-2) per program. A total of 139 POCUS-specific abstracts (median 2 [0-3]) and 80 peer-reviewed manuscripts (median 1 [0-2]) were published by scholarly track residents over the past three years. Conclusion: This survey study describes the current prevalence, characteristics, and outcomes of POCUS scholarly tracks across EM residency programs. The results may inform the decisions of residency programs to create these tracks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1095-1101
Number of pages7
JournalWestern Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


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