Point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) has become an essential skill that emergency medicine (EM) residents learn during their training . Accordingly, most EM programs schedule a block early in residency dedicated to obtaining and interpreting high-quality PoCUS images. Likewise, the ability to efficiently diagnose and manage acute cardiovascular pathologies is a critical aspect of EM, and most EM residents also rotate on a cardiology service to develop these skills. Despite evidence that PoCUS improves the ability of both cardiologists and non-cardiologists to quickly diagnose cardiac disease at the bedside, integration of this relatively novel technology on cardiology services is often limited by lack of PoCUS availability as well as lack of a convenient platform to share recorded images . Equipping EM residents on cardiology rotations with a portable, handheld ultrasound (US) system (Figure 1. Philips Lumify handheld US system with tablet) can enhance the learning of echocardiography acquisition and interpretation while simultaneously providing cardiology teams with clinically actionable information . In addition to improving patient care, performing and interpreting PoCUS from the lens of a cardiologist is a simple yet innovative way to solidify the skills that are crucial to becoming an excellent bedside echocardiographer.
IDEA Series: Virtual “Faux-tation” Rotation for 4th Year Medical Students Interested in Emergency Medicine
Visiting clerkships have traditionally offered the opportunity for extended contact among medical student applicants and residency program representatives, allowing for enhanced assessment of mutual compatibility. Accordingly, visiting clerkships are consistently rated as an essential consideration among residency program leadership when reviewing applications, and among medical students, as they determine “fit” [1,2]. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in institutional restrictions on visiting clerkships. Despite the now limited opportunities for medical students to see residency programs of interest in-person, demand for these experiences remains high. Opportunities that allow for increased interaction among medical student applicants and residency programs that maintain compliance with COVID-19 restrictions are needed to fill this gap. Virtual rotations have previously been described in the literature in multiple other specialties . Several emergency medicine programs have advertised a formal virtual rotation experience via the Council of Residency Directors’ (CORD) listserv that offers course credit to student rotators.
Pediatric lumbar puncture trainers are less available than adult trainers; most are the newborn size and quite expensive. Due to age-based practice patterns for fever diagnostic testing, most pediatric lumbar punctures are performed on young infants, and residents have fewer opportunities to perform lumbar punctures on older children.1 Adult lumbar puncture trainers have been created using a 3D-printed spine and ballistics gel, which allows for ultrasound guidance.2 No previous model has been described for pediatric lumbar puncture.
During medical simulation, the inherent unpredictability of learners’ performances and decisions can make it challenging to consistently achieve desired learning objectives. The amount learned and the errors made can vary wildly between groups. Paradoxically, a stellar student can minimize the learning for the other providers if he or she takes over and effortlessly completes the case. Likewise, the visceral impact of seeing a case go horribly wrong can have tremendous teaching value.1
In addition to these challenges, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced additional barriers to medical simulation training; physical distancing measures have resulted in limited or canceled simulation activities for most emergency medicine residency programs.
Bedside ultrasound (US) often plays a crucial role in medical and trauma resuscitations in the emergency department (ED) . Performing and interpreting bedside US studies such as the Extended Focused Assessment with Sonography for Trauma (E-FAST) during traumas or echocardiography during medical resuscitations are key skills for emergency medicine residents to learn during their training and adopt into clinical practice . During trauma resuscitations timely and efficient dissemination of critical information is paramount. Information obtained via bedside US can be critical in determining further clinical actions (need for urgent thoracostomy for a pneumothorax, need for urgent exploratory laparotomy in a hypotensive patient with free fluid in the abdomen, etc.) through shared decision making between ED and trauma teams . Information obtained via bedside US, however, is often difficult to convey during resuscitations given crowded rooms, simultaneous interventions, and limited viewing of the US screen. For ED and trauma providers wishing to better understand the utility of bedside US during resuscitations and how this powerful tool can change clinical management, a clearly visualized representation of what is displayed on the US screen could provide an ideal learning opportunity.
In order to enhance emergency medicine (EM) residents’ knowledge of toxicology core content, we previously created an immersive escape room experience complete with team-based puzzle solving in a geographical maze to find an antidote. The subsequent COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing guidelines resulted in canceled in-person EM conferences, thereby requiring a rapid adaptation to virtual formats [1-4]. Our toxicology division sought a novel method of engaging learners with toxicology core content remotely.
Although escharotomy is rarely performed by emergency physicians during the initial management of burns, it is a life and limb-sparing skill important to know as a trainee and provider in emergency medicine [1,2]. There are few models made to accommodate procedural training, and the ones available are often cost-prohibitive. It is critical to have a method for learning and practicing this important procedure [3,4].