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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 61-68

In-person versus virtual musculoskeletal ultrasound education during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic: A single-center study

1 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Stanford University, Redwood City, California, USA
3 Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, Immunology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ya-Ting Chen
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, 300 First Ave, 2nd Floor, Charlestown, Boston 02129, Massachusetts
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jisprm.JISPRM-000156

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Background: Musculoskeletal ultrasound (MSKUS) curricula in physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM and R) residency programs have traditionally relied on in-person teaching workshops. However, the social distancing requirements during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has led to a growing interest in remote ultrasound education. Aims: The aim of the study is to assess residents' MSKUS skill confidence after in-person vs. virtual MSKUS teaching workshops in a PM and R residency program. Materials and Methods: Twenty-one PM and R residents at a single academic center were assigned to either an in-person MSKUS demonstration by a sports medicine faculty member (n = 10) or a real-time virtual demonstration (n = 11) for workshops of the knee and wrist and hand. Surveys using Likert scales were employed to assess the change in residents' confidence with performing MSKUS examinations and their satisfaction with the curriculum. Results: There was a significant increase in confidence scores from baseline to postworkshop for both the virtual and in-person groups. The linear mixed effect model showed that there were no significant differences between the virtual and in-person groups for their baseline, postworkshop, and changes in confidence scores. All participants were satisfied with the updated curriculum. Conclusions: With the ongoing pandemic, incorporating virtual teaching platforms into existing MSKUS curricula is feasible and may provide similar improvements in residents' skill confidence as the in-person workshops. Successful implementation requires consideration of several factors, including ultrasound machine availability, participants' familiarity with technology, and the quality of the virtual streaming platform. A multi-institutional randomized controlled trial can further evaluate the effectiveness of remote MSKUS education for PM and R trainees.

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