Robust ultrasound training is a critical part of all Obstetrics & Gynecology (OB-GYN) training programs. Graduates need to possess image acquisition and interpretation skills and most importantly be able to apply findings towards medical decision making. Unfortunately, the quality of ultrasound education and training is highly variable in the field of OB-GYN. Dr. Alfred Abuhamad, a professor and chairman for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Eastern Virginia Medical and the past president of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), found that “40% of ultrasound practices were operating below the minimum AIUM standards and guidelines for the performance of ultrasound exam.”
In an effort to improve and standardize OB-GYN ultrasound training, AIUM assembled a multi-society task force of experts in obstetrics and gynecology, radiology, and medical education to develop consensus-based, standardized curriculum and competency evaluation process. In January 2018, American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, and Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology officially published the guidelines in a checklist form. What does this mean for OB-GYN training programs moving forward?
An Improvement in Ultrasound Quality and Education
A 2015 needs assessment performed revealed that a majority of OB-GYN residents felt that residency training adequately prepared them to perform and interpret OB ultrasound examinations (68.3% and 65%, respectively). Approximately 77% of residents expressed a desire for more formal training in OB ultrasound. A majority of GYN residents felt inadequately prepared to perform and interpret GYN ultrasound examinations (77% and 70%), and approximately 88% of OB-GYN residents reported wanting more formal training in GYN ultrasound.
A Shift Towards Competency-Based Learning
The goal of the AIUM Consensus Guidelines is to standardize OB-GYN ultrasound training and emphasize competency-based training. Widespread implementation of the new OB-GYN training guidelines will ideally ensure trainees develop a uniform, high level of ultrasound proficiency.
In response to the AIUM Guidelines, SonoSim has designed a comprehensive OB-GYN ultrasound training library using real-patients with a variety of pathologic conditions. The SonoSim® Ultrasound Training Solution is a laptop-based ultrasound training solution that provides education in a modular format (didactics, assessment, and SonoSimulator® hands-on scanning). SonoSim’s educational offerings and assessment tools address the recently published standards and make it easy for OB-GYN program directors seeking to match the latest training requirements. Learn more here.
 Green I, Kahan M, Wong S. Obstetric and Gynecologic Resident Ultrasound Education Project: Is the Current Level of Gynecologic Ultrasound Training in Canada Meeting the Needs of Residents and Faculty? J Ultrasound Med. 2015;34(9):1583-1589.
 Volume 34, Issue 9, pages 1583-1589, 7 AUG 2015 DOI: 10.7863/ultra.15.14.10067