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Adult and pediatric emergency physicians have been using point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) for many years. It is a fast, usually painless, noninvasive diagnostic tool that does not expose the patient to radiation. Information about its current implementation in pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) fellowship programs in Canada is lacking.
The main goal of our study was to investigate current integration and future direction of POCUS training in Canadian PEM programs.
The study consisted of two surveys designed for fellows and program directors of all Canadian PEM fellowship programs. The major aspects of the survey were 1) to describe current training in POCUS in fellowship programs, 2) to compare the kind of training that programs offer with what fellows actually receive, and 3) a needs assessment by fellows and program directors for future POCUS training programs. Surveys were sent to program directors and passed on to their fellows.
Ninety percent of fellowship program directors as well as 70% (42/60) of fellows responded to the survey. A formal POCUS curriculum exists in five of the nine PEM programs included in this study. Three programs offer specific pediatric POCUS training. The main application is the FAST (focused assessment with sonography for trauma) exam.
There is a wide variation in POCUS content and delivery across PEM fellowship programs, as well as differences in perceptions of current training and of needs by fellows and program directors. However, given that both groups feel POCUS is very important and essential for PEM training, the opportunity exists to develop a standardized curriculum across Canada.
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