UK Medical Students Receive High Marks at Ultrasound Challenge
LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 11, 2014) - While the world watched coverage of the Winter Olympics last month, a group of University of Kentucky medical students were vying for medals in an Olympic-style competition for future doctors.
For the first time, a team of eight UK medical students participated in the 5th Annual Ultrasound Challenge at The Ohio State University on Feb. 15. During the challenge, students from UK and The Ohio State University tested their knowledge, technique and accuracy scanning ultrasound images of specific systems in the human body. Students were evaluated on eight competition stations quizzing on topics including vascular access, pathology recognition and image acquisition. Final scores were released in early March announcing UK student Corey Warf as the runner-up in the run for the 2014 Sonographer's Cup, the prize for the top-scoring student.
Fourth-year medical student Jennifer Cotton tied for third-place with Warf in the pathology slides recognition. Warf won a gold medal in the FAST (focused assessment with sonography for trauma) exam and a silver medal at the vascular access station. A total of 45 medical students representing all four student classes from UK and The Ohio State University competed in events.
Dr. Matt Dawson, director of point of care ultrasound at UK HealthCare, sponsored and coached UK's team, unofficially coined the "Sonokittens." A team of medical residents that have previously competed in ultrasound challenges are called the "SonoCats." Cotton said the team prepared by studying quiz sheets and performing preparatory scans.
"We're making sure our students are exposed to (ultrasound) and have good hands-on experience," Cotton said. "It's very patient-centered and focused on improving the quality of patient care. You get to spend more time with the patient and show them what the disease process looks like inside of them."
As part of the event, Dawson delivered a keynote presentation about how rapidly changing technology is changing medical education. His talk examined the roles of the Internet and social media in providing information and creating learning environments for medical students.
Dawson said bedside ultrasound skills have shown to decrease morbidity, reduce complications, speed up diagnosis of critical conditions and allow the initial physician to diagnose the condition in the presence of the patient. Bedside ultrasound skills are listed as one of the top-25 skills for new doctors identified by Stanford University Medical School.
"We are training our medical students to have this cutting-edge skill as soon as they graduate, no matter what specialty they go into," Dawson said.
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