Ultrasound is safe… right?: Resident and Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellow Knowledge Regarding Obstetric Ultrasound Safety
Houston LE, Allsworth J, Macones GA. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri, USA. Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine 2011 Jan; 30(1):21-7.
OBJECTIVES: This study was created to assess the knowledge levels of postgraduate year 4 obstetrics and gynecology residents and maternal-fetal medicine fellows in the United States regarding the safety of obstetric ultrasound and the use of the output display standard.
METHODS: An electronic survey was submitted to each Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education-accredited obstetrics and gynecology residency and each maternal-fetal medicine fellowship program in the United States over 2 academic years from 2008 to 2010.
RESULTS: A total of 165 surveys were completed (67 by postgraduate year 4 obstetrics and gynecology residents and 92 by maternal-fetal medicine fellows). In total, 13.4% of residents and 20.9% of maternal-fetal medicine fellows knew how to find or use the output display standard, and 10.9% of residents and 22.7% of fellows reported use of the output display standard during their ultrasound examinations. Overall, 37% to 46% of residents and fellows reported no limitations to the use of obstetric ultrasound and 22% to 39% reported no limitations to the use of Doppler ultrasound in the first, second, and third trimesters. Maternal-fetal medicine fellow knowledge of ultrasound safety generally improved with each year of training; however, only 34.8% of third-year fellows reported use of the output display standard.
CONCLUSIONS: Currently, obstetrics and gynecology resident knowledge of obstetric ultrasound safety is low. Maternal-fetal medicine fellow knowledge is stronger overall; however, few are using the output display standard routinely in their last year of fellowship training. This study provides evidence of the need for improved education on the subject of obstetric ultrasound safety.