Does ultrasound education improve anatomy learning? Effects of the Parallel Ultrasound Hands-on (PUSH) undergraduate medicine course

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Background: As ultrasound has become increasingly prominent in medicine, portable ultrasound is perceived as the visual stethoscope of the twenty-first century. Many studies have shown that exposing preclinical students to ultrasound training can increase their motivation and ultrasound competency. However, few studies have discussed the effect of ultrasound training on anatomy learning. Method: The Parallel Ultrasound Hands-on (PUSH) course was designed to investigate whether or not ultrasonography training affects anatomy knowledge acquisition. The PUSH course included anatomical structures located in the chest and abdomen (target anatomy) and was conducted in parallel to the compulsory gross anatomy course. Learners (n = 140) voluntarily participated in this elective course (learners in the course before the midterm examination (Group 1, n = 69), or after the midterm examination (Group 2, n = 71)). Anatomy examination scores (written and laboratory tests) were utilized to compare the effects of the PUSH course. Result: Group 1 obtained significantly higher written test scores on the midterm examination (mean difference [MD] = 1.5(7.6%), P = 0.014, Cohen’s d = 0.43). There was no significant difference in the final examination scores between the two groups (Written Test: MD = 0.3(1.6%), P = 0.472). In Laboratory test, both mid-term (MD:0.7(2.8%), P = 0.308) and final examination (MD:0.3(1.5%), P = 0.592) showed no significant difference between two groups. Students provided positive feedback in overall learning self-efficacy after the PUSH course (Mean = 3.68, SD = ±0.56 on a 5-point Likert scale). Learning self-efficacy in the cognitive domain was significantly higher than that in the affective domain (MD = 0.58; P < 0.001) and psychomotor domain (MD = 0.12; P = 0.011). Conclusion: The PUSH course featured a hands-on learning design that empowered medical students to improve their anatomy learning.

Original languageEnglish
Article number207
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Gross anatomy education
  • Medical education
  • Parallel ultrasound course
  • Undergraduate education ultrasound education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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