The aims of this study were to describe point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) use by recent pediatric emergency medicine (PEM) fellowship graduates and identify associations between frequency and breadth of POCUS use with variations in POCUS training and current clinical practice environment.
This was a cross-sectional online survey of recent PEM fellowship graduates. Chi-square and nonparametric tests were used to compare POCUS use among physicians with varying types of POCUS training and varying clinical practice environments.
Eighty-two percent of 143 respondents reported using POCUS in their past 10 shifts. There was no association between the methods of POCUS education and frequency or breadth of POCUS use. Pediatric emergency medicine fellowship graduates with additional POCUS fellowship training performed more scans and used more applications than those who completed a pediatrics or medicine-pediatrics residency before PEM fellowship only [median 15 (9, 20) vs 2 (1, 5) (P < 0.01) and median 11 (6.5, 13) vs 2 (1, 3) (P < 0.01), respectively]. Participants who worked in academic emergency departments performed more ultrasounds than those who did not [3.5 (1, 8) vs 1 (0, 2), P < 0.01] and used a greater breadth of applications [3 (1, 5) vs 1 (0, 3), P < 0.01]. Physicians who billed for POCUS studies were more likely to use POCUS (odds ratio, 2.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.1–7.3) with greater frequency [5 (2.3, 10) vs 2 (0.8, 5), P < 0.01] and use a broader range of applications [3 (2,6) vs 2 (0.8, 3.3), P < 0.01].
Most respondents report recent POCUS use in practice. Point-of-care ultrasound fellowship training, working in an academic emergency department, and having the ability to bill were associated with increased POCUS use.