Sonographic Physical Diagnosis 101: Teaching Senior Medical Students Basic Ultrasound Scanning Skills Using a Compact Ultrasound System

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This project was designed to test the feasibility of introducing ultrasound to senior medical students as a primary diagnostic tool in the evaluation of patients. Specifically, its aim was to determine if it is possible for medical students untrained in sonography to gain basic competence in performing abdominal ultrasound with limited didactic and hands-on instructions. Registered sonographers provided the students with hands-on instructions on the use of a compact ultrasound system. They were likewise shown how to evaluate specific organs and perform measurements. The results of the student measurements and those obtained by the sonographers were compared. There was close correlation between the results obtained by sonographers and students on both normal and abnormal findings. This supports the concept that medical students can be taught basic ultrasound skills with limited didactic and hands-on instructions with the potential of using these skills in the patient clinics as an adjunct to routine physical diagnosis.

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