His post appeared on the KevinMD website.
As if a radiologist advising doctors to do an H&P wasn't shocking enough, Dr. Jha then confessed that he thinks "ultrasound images look like a satellite picture of a snow blizzard."
He worried that rather than finding hidden pathology, indiscriminate use of US by inexperienced physicians will simply lead to more and more testing.
Even seasoned radiologists tend to overcall abnormalities on US said Dr. Jha. This leads to increased use of other imaging studies, most of which turn out to be normal. Using US to avoid the risks of ionizing radiation often results in patients having CT scans anyway.
In the comments section of the post, Dr. Jha emphasized that he was talking about situations where the pretest probability of finding something wrong is very low. Directed US based on clinical indications is obviously of value.
Emergency medicine physicians who
|Photo via Dr. Ryan Radecki (@emlitofnote)|
Ultrasound is clearly the test of choice for right upper quadrant abdominal pain. There is nothing better for identifying gallstones, but thickening of the gallbladder wall and fluid surrounding the gallbladder are best seen with US done in the radiology department.
Probing all body cavities with a transducer for no specific indications is another matter.
Is there still a role for a good history and physical examination in modern medicine? Yes.
Is US a useful test? Yes, in the proper context, it can be very helpful.
Should every medical student be taught how to do bedside US? I don't think so. A course is just the beginning. Learning how to perform US requires a lot of repetitions. Many medical specialists will never use it.
I agree with Dr. Jha that the time should be used to "Teach them to organize their thoughts coherently."
What's your opinion?
Note: These folks also tweeted the photo.@EM_Educator @MDaware @EBMGoneWild @choo_ek