Standardized Ultrasound Curriculum Needed in OB-GYN Residency Programs

November 7, 2018

Biggest obstacle in ultrasound training is lack of dedicated faculty time.

There is a lack of clearly defined milestones in ultrasound training in OB‐GYN residency, which highlights a need for a standardized ultrasound curriculum, according to a study published in the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine.

Researchers from the United States and Canada sought to evaluate the current state of ultrasound training in OB‐GYN residency programs across the United States. The researchers sent an electronic survey to OB‐GYN residency program directors and OB‐GYN residents. Program directors and residents were asked to reflect on their current ultrasound curriculum.

Ninety-three program directors and 437 residents (most from university programs located in tertiary centers) responded to the survey. Eighty-nine percent of program directors and 77% of residents had ultrasound‐related didactics, but they were only offered yearly or less frequently to 27% of the program directors and 40% of the residents. Three‐quarters of the programs required mandatory ultrasound rotations, 52% to program directors and 25% to residents.

Almost all residents (98%) were required to perform daily or weekly ultrasound examinations with the main focus of the rotation most often being OB.

The researchers found that although most program directors reported that they rated their residents as satisfactory/excellent in ultrasound, 22% would not treat patients solely on the senior residents’ reports. In addition, 76% of the 86 postgraduate year 4 residents stated that they need more training to be able to perform or read ultrasound examinations independently. Only 57% stated that they would treat a patient on the basis of their own ultrasound examinations without obtaining a second opinion. When asked what was the biggest obstacle in ultrasound training, 41% of the residents said it was a lack of dedicated faculty time.

The researchers concluded that the study findings highlighted a need for a standardized ultrasound curriculum.