Factors affecting objective structured clinical examination scores of final year medical students in the evaluation of focused assessment with sonography for trauma


Sornsupha Limchareon, Puwich Charoenchue, Jitraporn Intrarak

Background: Focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST) has become an initial evaluation in acute abdominal traumatic patients. Therefore, FAST skill is essential for the physician. Thus, ultrasound (US) education is mandated. Nowadays, there has been no standardized teaching and evaluation of FAST for undergraduate medical students. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between FAST scan experience during undergraduate training and the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) score of the final year medical students that may help to design the methods in teaching FAST at the undergraduate level. Methods: This is a retrospective study. Data including gender and grade point average (GPA) were collected. The FAST scan experience including the time of formal education on FAST scans, both a didactic lecture and hands-on training, the number of FAST scans, the number of positive cases, and the level of confidence was surveyed by questionnaires. The students’ background characteristics were determined by the GPA. The students’ FAST skills were assessed by OSCE. These data were retrospectively collected and analyzed to establish their relationship with the OSCE score. Results: Forty-five final year medical students participated in this study. Overall, there was no significant relationship among prior FAST scan experience, students’ background characteristics, and the OSCE scores. There was a positive correlation for the time of lecture (R = 0.45, p = 0.002), the time of practical training (R = 0.47, p = 0.001), the number of FAST scans (R = 0.55, p < 0.001), and the level of confidence. Conclusions: FAST scan experience during an undergraduate training does not seem to affect the FAST examination performance. However, a formal US training and the number of FAST scans do effect on the level of students’ confidence. OSCE may not be the best tool to evaluate the FAST scan performance.