Self-learning of point-of-care cardiac ultrasound - Can medical students teach themselves?

Lior Fuchs, David Gilad, Yuval Mizrakli, Re'em Sadeh, Ori Galante, Sergio Kobal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background Point-of-care ultrasonography (PoCUS) is a rapidly evolving discipline that aims to train non-cardiologists, non-radiologists clinicians in performing bedside ultrasound to guide clinical decision. Training of PoCUS is challenging, time-consuming and requires large amount of resources. The objective of our study was to evaluate if this training process can be simplified by allowing medical students self-train themselves with a web-based cardiac ultrasound software. Methods A prospective, single blinded, cohort study, comparing performance of 29 medical students in performing a six-minutes cardiac ultrasound exam. Students were divided into two groups: Self-learning group, using a combination of E-learning software and self-practice using pocket ultrasound device compared to formal, frontal cardiac ultrasound course. Results All 29 students completed their designated courses and performed the six-minutes exam: 20 students participated in the frontal cardiac ultrasound course and 9 completed the selflearning course. The median (Q1,Q3) test score for the self-learning group was higher than the frontal course group score, 18 (15,19) versus 15 (12,19.5), respectively. Nevertheless, no statistically significant difference was found between the two study groups (p = 0.478). All students in the self-learning course group (9/9, 100%) and 16 (16/20, 80%) of students in the frontal ultrasound course group obtained correct alignment of the parasternal long axis view (p = 0.280).

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0204087
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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