As point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) evolves into a standard tool for the care of children, pediatric residency programs need to develop POCUS training programs. Few POCUS training resources exist for pediatric residents, and little is known about POCUS training in pediatric residencies. We aim to describe pediatric residency leadership perspectives regarding the value of POCUS and to elucidate the current state of POCUS training in pediatric residency programs.
A group of pediatric educators and POCUS experts developed a novel survey followed by cognitive interviews to establish response-process validity. The survey was administered electronically to pediatric residency associate program directors between December 2019 and April 2020. Program characteristics, including region, setting, and size, were used to perform poststratification for analyses. We performed comparative analyses using program and respondent characteristics.
We achieved a 30% (58 of 196) survey response rate. Although only a minority of respondents (26%) used POCUS in clinical practice, a majority (56%) indicated that all pediatric residents should be trained in POCUS. A majority of respondents also considered 8 of 10 POCUS applications important for pediatric residents. Only 37% of programs reported any POCUS training for residents, primarily informal bedside education. Most respondents (94%) cited a lack of qualified instructors as a barrier to POCUS training.
Most pediatric residency programs do not provide residents with POCUS training despite its perceived value and importance. Numerous POCUS applications are considered important for pediatric residents to learn. Future curricular and faculty development efforts should address the lack of qualified POCUS instructors.