Point-of-Care Ultrasound Use in Nephrology: A Survey of Nephrology Program Directors, Fellows, and Fellowship Graduates

David L. Cook, Samir Patel, Robert Nee, Dustin J. Little, Scott D. Cohen, Christina M. Yuan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Rationale & Objective: Adoption of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) into nephrology practice has been relatively slow. We surveyed US nephrology program directors, their fellows, and graduates from a single training program regarding current/planned POCUS training, clinical use, and barriers to training and use. Study Design: Anonymous, online survey. Setting & Participants: All US nephrology program directors (n=151), their fellows (academic year 2021-2022), and 89/90 graduates (1980-2021) of the Walter Reed Nephrology Program. Analytical Approach: Descriptive. Results: 46% (69/151) of program directors and 33% (118/361) of their fellows responded. Response rate was 62% (55/89) for Walter Reed graduates. 51% of program directors offered POCUS training, most commonly bedside training in non-POCUS oriented rotations (71%), didactic lectures (68%), and simulation (43%). 46% of fellows reported receiving POCUS training, but of these, many reported not being sufficiently trained/not confident in kidney (56%), bladder (50%), and inferior vena cava assessment (46%). Common barriers to training reported by program directors were not enough trained faculty (78%), themselves not being sufficiently trained (55%), and equipment expense (51%). 64% of program directors and 55% of fellows reported <10% of faculty were able to perform POCUS. 64% of fellows reported having too little POCUS training. 72% of program directors and 77% of graduates felt POCUS should be incorporated into the fellowship curriculum. 59% of fellows and 61% of graduates desired hands-on POCUS training rather than didactic lectures or simulation. Limitations: Loss of respondents as program directors and fellows progressed through the survey. Conclusions: Nephrology program directors, fellows, and graduates surveyed want POCUS training incorporated into the fellowship curriculum. No group felt sufficiently trained to confidently perform POCUS, and the major barrier to training was lack of sufficiently trained faculty. This highlights the need to “train the trainers” before POCUS can be fully integrated into fellowship training and regularly used in nephrology practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100601
JournalKidney Medicine
Volume5
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Fellowship training
  • POCUS
  • nephrology
  • nephrology curriculum
  • point-of-care ultrasound

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