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54 – Developing an Academic Ultrasound Curriculum: Hybrid Learning for Busy Clinicians


  • Alexander Vengerovsky, School of Medicine, UW Seattle
  • James Town, School of Medicine, UW Seattle
  • David Carlbom, School of Medicine, UW Seattle


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 certification process, indicating a opportunity for development of such. 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.

Our curriculum originated from multi-disciplinary faculty ultrasound enthusiasts providing weekly clinical rounds to fellows. Historically, this process was unstructured and did not have reliable results. We evaluated guidelines, conducted a needs assessment, and surveyed the learning environment in order to develop a longitudinal curriculum.

Key limitations identified included busy clinical practice, absent clear learning objectives and assessments, and shortage of faculty to foster continuous learning. However, most learners had similar interest and motivation for learning CCUS and preferred similar pedagogical techniques (such as the flipped-classroom)

Learning objectives are based on society ultrasound guidelines, facilitating future certification. Faculty developed multi-media lesson plans using their own expertise and extant free and open access content. We developed a website to facilitate access to multi-media lessons. In-person instruction was delivered weekly through ‘Ultrasound Rounds’, constituting a hybrid curriculum.

Semi-annual assessment of scanning technique on live models and knowledge evaluation provided formative and summative feedback to learners and faculty. Learners were also asked to practice independently and log their exams for faculty review. Individual fellows are mentored through in-person supervision, case presentations, and scholarly writing.

So far, we have delivered 165 hours of in-person instruction to 26 fellows. Six fellows have completed pre- and post-course assessment; the mean score increased by 13%, supporting this method of course delivery for those in active professional practice.

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