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Can we successfully teach novice junior doctors basic interventional ultrasound in a single focused training session?
  1. Grace Frances Mary McKay1,
  2. Asoka Weerasinghe2,3
  1. 1 Medical Education, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Wakefield, UK
  2. 2 Emergency Department, Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Wakefield, UK
  3. 3 Accident and Emergency Medicine, Dewsbury and District Hospital, Dewsbury, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Grace Frances Mary McKay, Medical Education, MidYorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Wakefield WF1 4DG, UK; gracefrancesmary.mckay{at}


Background Ultrasonography is recognised as an invaluable imaging modality for assessing critically unwell patients and obtaining vascular access. Senior emergency medicine and anaesthetic clinicians will regularly use ultrasound-guided imaging to establish vascular access for unwell patients; however, junior doctors, who are routinely the first clinicians to review deteriorating patients, are not encouraged or required to develop basic ultrasound interventional skills and are therefore ill equipped to use ultrasonography.

Aim To demonstrate that teaching basic interventional ultrasound skills to novice junior doctors in a single focused session is an achievable outcome.

Method We reviewed the success of the ‘Junior doctor Ultrasound Training’ (JUST) course in teaching basic interventional ultrasound skills to junior clinicians. We collated information from 237 JUST delegates. We surveyed candidates’ prior ultrasound experience and retrospectively analysed their level 2 Kirkpatrick formative assessment outcome following the JUST course.

Results The overwhelming majority of doctors had no prior ultrasound experience (>95%). 99% (235) of candidates performed ultrasound to an acceptable standard to pass the formative assessment. 73% (174) achieved the course outcomes independent of faculty prompting. 1% (2) candidates failed the formative assessment.

Conclusion Basic ultrasound competency is an achievable educational outcome for the overwhelming majority of novice junior doctors. Our findings add to growing evidence that early ultrasound tuition can be both valuable and economical for training clinicians. By arming junior doctors with a relevant and versatile skill set, we can provide opportunity for clinicians to develop their expertise and prepare for the future challenges of clinical medicine.

  • ultrasound
  • vascular medicine

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  • Contributors GFMM researched literature and conceived the study. AW founded the JUST course. GFMM collated the data and did the data analysis. GFMM wrote the first draft of the manuscript. GFMM wrote the final version of the manuscript. Both authors reviewed and approved the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

  • Competing interests Candidates who enrol on the JUST course apply via a medical education website and pay a nominal fee of £100 to attend the course. The fee charge for the JUST course pays for refreshments, administration and venue hire only. Faculty involved with the JUST course do so voluntarily and are not paid for their involvement.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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