Most chronic pain fellowships are teaching ultrasound-guided procedures, offering training throughout the fellowship year, according to a study published online June 12 in Pain Medicine.
Jason A. Conway, M.D., from Penn State Hershey Medical Center, and colleagues examined the current state of ultrasound training in the U.S. and Canadian Chronic Pain Fellowship programs. Data were obtained from 31 responses from the 97 U.S. and four Canadian programs surveyed; 26 of these programs offered ultrasound training.
The researchers found that the 31 programs averaged 4.1 fellows per year. Most (96.2 percent) of the 26 programs that offered training taught ultrasound throughout the fellowship year. Training was mainly patient based (96.2 percent), although there was variation in the type of training. In the 26 programs, ultrasound was used for peripheral nerve blocks (96.2 percent), non-axial musculoskeletal injections (76.9 percent), and axial nerve blocks (53.8 percent).
“The majority of chronic pain fellowships responding to our questionnaire were teaching ultrasound-guided procedures to their fellows,” the authors write. “From our survey, however, it appears that the total number of interventional pain procedures performed in academic pain departments using ultrasound guidance is limited.”