It all started when...
The MUSKETEER project was conceived over lunchtime drinks amongst the first generation of Musketeers at Das SMACC in Berlin, 2017. A mild anxiety was apparent within this group of young or soon-to-be registrars. They believed that bedside ultrasound was an essential aspect their craft but felt ill-equipped. Some were contemplating paying thousands of dollars to private companies to patch this skills deficit. This did not seem like a satisfactory solution.
The perceived barriers to emergency ultrasound education and training are threefold: an underdeveloped standardised curriculum; high variability of baseline skills amongst learners and existing practitioners; and significant time demands for both teachers and trainees such that sustained learning and skills consolidation are achieved. It is my personal belief that these “barriers” are no different to those in the way of achieving proficiency in emergency radiology interpretation or clinical reasoning, or advanced communication.
The current model of ultrasound education seems to be an ad hoc amalgam of FOAM and private sector resources. At one extreme, there are passionate ultrasound enthusiasts who have grown out of the FOAM movement. Unfortunately, enthusiasm does not always correlated with competence. At the other extreme there is are an assortment of for-profit companies vying for consultant CME money and carefully saved dollars from well-meaning trainees alike, with little ongoing commitment to sonographer quality improvement and mentorship. This workshop will hopefully provide a middle path.
At its heart, the philosophy of the musketeer project is to provide high quality ultrasound education to junior emergency medicine practitioners at minimal cost, accompanied by an ongoing mentoring relationship with the learners as well as support for ACEM accreditation. Undoubtedly this course will evolve over time as the needs of trainees and the field of emergency ultrasound continue to grow. The curriculum has been designed to provide an adaptive skill set for the emergency practitioner; not limiting them to ruling out the AAA or identifying traumatic abdominal free fluid. It is not comprehensive, but will hopefully benchmark the minimum standard.