Sonography and hypotension: A change to critical problem solving in undergraduate medical education

Richard Amini, Lori A. Stolz, Nicholas C. Hernandez, Kevin Gaskin, Nicola Baker, Arthur Barry Sanders, Srikar Adhikari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Study objectives: Multiple curricula have been designed to teach medical students the basics of ultrasound; however, few focus on critical problem-solving. The objective of this study is to determine whether a theme-based ultrasound teaching session, dedicated to the use of ultrasound in the management of the hypotensive patient, can impact medical students’ ultrasound education and provide critical problem-solving exercises. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study using an innovative approach to train 3rd year medical students during a 1-day ultrasound training session. The students received a 1-hour didactic session on basic ultrasound physics and knobology and were also provided with YouTube hyperlinks, and links to smart phone educational applications, which demonstrated a variety of bedside ultrasound techniques. In small group sessions, students learned how to evaluate patients for pathology associated with hypotension. A knowledge assessment questionnaire was administered at the end of the session and again 3 months later. Student knowledge was also assessed using different clinical scenarios with multiple-choice questions. Results: One hundred and three 3rd year medical students participated in this study. Appropriate type of ultrasound was selected and accurate diagnosis was made in different hypotension clinical scenarios: pulmonary embolism, 81% (95% CI, 73%–89%); abdominal aortic aneurysm, 100%; and pneumothorax, 89% (95% CI, 82%–95%). The average confidence level in performing ultrasound-guided central line placement was 7/10, focused assessment with sonography for trauma was 8/10, inferior vena cava assessment was 8/10, evaluation for abdominal aortic aneurysm was 8/10, assessment for deep vein thrombus was 8/10, and cardiac ultrasound for contractility and overall function was 7/10. Student performance in the knowledge assessment portion of the questionnaire was an average of 74% (SD =11%) at the end of workshop and 74% (SD =12%) 3 months later (P=0.00). Conclusion: At our institution, we successfully integrated ultrasound and critical problem-solving instruction, as part of a 1-day workshop for undergraduate medical education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalAdvances in Medical Education and Practice
StatePublished - 2016


  • Point-of-care ultrasound
  • Problem-based learning
  • Protocol-driven education
  • Undergraduate medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Sonography and hypotension: A change to critical problem solving in undergraduate medical education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this