Motivations, barriers, and professional engagement: a multisite qualitative study of internal medicine faculty’s experiences learning and teaching point-of-care ultrasound

Christopher J. Smith, Keith Barron, Ronald J. Shope, Elizabeth Beam, Kevin Piro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) graduate medical education is expanding across many specialties, but a lack of trained faculty is a common barrier. Even well-designed faculty development programs struggle with retention, yet little is known about the experiences of practicing physicians learning POCUS. Our objective is to explore the experiences of clinician-educators as they integrate POCUS into their clinical and teaching practices to help inform curriculum design. Methods: Qualitative study using instrumental case study design to analyze interview data from 18 internal medicine clinician-educators at 3 academic health centers. Interviewees were recruited by program directors at each site to include participants with a range of POCUS use patterns. Interviews took place from July–August 2019. Results: Analysis yielded 6 themes: teaching performance, patient care, curriculum needs, workflow and access, administrative support, and professional engagement. Participants felt POCUS enhanced their teaching skills, clinical decision making, and engagement with patients. The themes highlighted the importance of longitudinal supervision and feedback, streamlined integration of POCUS into clinical workflow, and administrative support of time and resources. Interviewees reported learning and teaching POCUS helped combat burn-out and enhance their sense of professional engagement. Conclusions: Learning POCUS as a practicing clinician-educator is a complicated endeavor that must take into account mastery of psychomotor skills, existing practice habits, and local institutional concerns. Based upon the themes generated from this study, we make recommendations to help guide POCUS faculty development curriculum design. Although this study focused on internists, the findings are likely generalizable to other specialties with growing interest in POCUS education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number171
JournalBMC medical education
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Curriculum design
  • Faculty development
  • Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS)
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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