Cardiac Point-of-Care Ultrasound: State-of-the-Art in Medical School Education

Published:March 14, 2018DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.echo.2018.01.014

      Highlights

      • POCUS can be used for rapid, bedside cardiac assessment.
      • There is no guideline for a universal teaching curriculum for medical students.
      • This review summarizes common elements found in current published POCUS programs.
      • Programs reported use of e-learning, hands-on learning, and competency evaluation.
      The development of small, user friendly, handheld ultrasound devices has stimulated the growth of cardiac point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) for the purpose of rapid, bedside cardiac assessment. Medical schools have begun integrating cardiac POCUS into their curricula. In this review the authors summarize the variable approaches taken by several medical training programs with respect to duration of POCUS training, prerequisite knowledge, and methods of delivering these skills (including e-learning, hands-on training, and simulation). The authors also address issues related to the need for competency evaluation and the limitations of the technology itself. The studies reviewed suggest that undergraduate education is a viable point at which to introduce basic POCUS concepts.

      Keywords

      Abbreviations:

      ASE (American Society of Echocardiography), HHU (Handheld cardiac ultrasound), OSAUS (Objective Structured Assessment of Ultrasound Skills), POCUS (Point-of-care ultrasound), TTE (Transthoracic echocardiography)
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      Linked Article

      • Development of a Point-Of-Care Cardiovascular Ultrasound Program for Preclinical Medical Students
        Journal of the American Society of EchocardiographyVol. 31Issue 9
        • Preview
          It has been recently posited that ultrasonography should serve as the “fifth pillar” of the physical examination.1 As such, we read with interest the review by Johri et al summarizing the current cardiac point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) programs integrated into medical school curricula.2 One topic raised by the authors concerns the ideal timing for introducing the curriculum in medical school, citing that students may benefit after obtaining a background knowledge base in cardiac anatomy and physiology.
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