Entrusting internal medicine residents to use point of care ultrasound: towards improved assessment and supervision
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Background: Internal medicine physicians and trainees are increasingly using, and seeking training in, diagnostic point of care ultrasound (POCUS). Numerous internal medicine training programs have described their curricula, but little has been written about how learners should be assessed, supervised, and allowed to progress toward independent practice, yet these practices are imperative for safe and effective use. Entrustable professional activities (EPAs) offer a practical method to assess observable units of professional work and make supervision decisions. Methods: An EPA for POCUS is used as a framework to assess and determine appropriate levels of supervision in an internal medicine residency program. Results: All learners have been able to advance to level 2 with a mandatory introductory boot camp course. Learners have been able to advance to higher levels of independence, often after taking formal elective programmatic coursework. However, not all learners taking the same coursework have been granted the same level of independence. Conclusions: It is feasible to assess and supervise internal medicine residents' ability to use diagnostic point of care ultrasound using an EPA.
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