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Point of Care Ultrasound Curriculum

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is emerging as an essential skill in modern medicine. At PPMC, we aim to provide every resident with the requisite training to perform and interpret POCUS exams and to incorporate the technique into clinical practice. Understanding that learning POCUS requires an iterative approach, we developed a longitudinal curriculum that is embedded within the 3-year training program. Combining didactic lectures, small-group workshops, and real-world scanning on the hospital wards, our curriculum aims to provide a solid foundation in POCUS for every resident. Residents who complete the curriculum and build the required portfolio of proctored ultrasound exams are eligible for certification in ultrasound.

Intern POCUS Bootcamp
All PPMC interns participate in a half-day POCUS bootcamp to review the basics of ultrasound physics, knobology, and scanning technique. We focus on cardiac ultrasound and procedural ultrasound, with opportunities to practice scanning on standardized patients in a fun and interactive setting. We also practice the essential skill of "following the needle" using our simulated ultrasound task trainers. The goal is to provide interns with the tools they need to start learning and using ultrasound from day 1 of their residency training.

Longitudinal Ultrasound Curriculum
As part of the iBlock curriculum, every resident participates in 3 half-day POCUS workshops per academic year. Sessions combine didactic instruction from POCUS-trained faculty within the departments of internal medicine, critical care, and emergency medicine, with hands-on scanning. Recent sessions have focus on the topics listed below:

  • Gallbladder and renal ultrasound
  • Ultrasound-guided volume assessment
  • Advanced cardiac ultrasound
  • Shock & critical care ultrasound
  • FAST exam for the internist
  • MSK and soft-tissue ultrasound

POCUS Elective:
For senior residents seeking additional training in ultrasound, PPMC offers a one-week intensive in cardiac ultrasound, combining small-group didactic discussions, instructional videos, and hands-on training. The main objectives of the rotation are to gain basic proficiency in focused cardiac ultrasound, including image acquisition, interpretation, and clinical integration, and to build a portfolio of cardiac ultrasound exams that can be compiled and submitted for formative feedback and certification in cardiac ultrasound.