Inspiring the Future of Physician Assistant Ultrasound Education: Lessons Learned From the Inaugural Yes, iScan Event

Document Type


Publication Date



PURPOSE: Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS), despite its rapid integration into undergraduate medical education curriculum, remains underutilized among physician assistant (PA) programs, with a resultant training gap between PAs and their physician collaborators. Herein, we present the Yes, iScan Ultrasound event, piloted at the 2018 American Academy of PAs (AAPA) conference, as a means to generate PA student interest in, and introductory engagement with, the emerging clinical adjunct of POCUS. METHODS: Physician assistant students and instructors were recruited to voluntarily participate. Student participants received pre-event online training access. They then competed in a team-based 8-hour competition covering core POCUS concepts of image acquisition, interpretation, and clinical implementation. Student participants' pre- and post-event self-assessments of their knowledge of how ultrasound could be implemented into clinical practice were analyzed using a 2-tailed t-test. RESULTS: A total of 62 students participated in the competition, with a post-event response rate of 53%. Surveys demonstrated a statistically significant post-event increase in knowledge of how ultrasound integrates into clinical practice from 3.9 to 6 (7-point Likert scale, P-value < .01, 95% confidence interval -2.51 to -1.76). Seventy-nine percentage of students reported being highly engaged throughout the event, with 95% of students recommending recurring incorporation into future AAPA conferences. CONCLUSIONS: Students reported high engagement and a significant increase in their knowledge of how POCUS may integrate into clinical practice following their participation. Although these data suggest that such events are successful at generating enthusiasm for this emerging clinical adjunct, further studies on the impact of the event toward increased POCUS integration into PA education are recommended.

Publication Title

The journal of physician assistant education : the official journal of the Physician Assistant Education Association





First Page


Last Page


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


PubMed ID