Point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) is a diagnostic or procedural guidance ultrasound that is performed by a clinician during a patient encounter to help guide the evaluation and management of the patient. PoCUS is not meant to replace comprehensive ultrasound imaging, which is a consultative test that focuses on traditional ultrasound methods for fully evaluating anatomy and physiology. Rather, it is a complementary diagnostic tool that can help make the clinician more efficient, more independent, and more confident in their medial decision making.
Nationally, there is increasing penetration of PoCUS into various clinical specialties that have not traditionally used clinician performed ultrasound at the bedside. Family medicine residencies (amongst many other specialties) and medical schools use PoCUS to teach future physicians anatomy and pathology. In fact, the philosophy of medical schools instruction of anatomy is transitioning from traditional dissection of cadavers, to understanding anatomy through ultrasound. Popularity of PoCUS has been influenced by a newer generation of tailored ultrasound systems: reduction in cost and relative size, improved portability and quality, and ease of use.
Altru FMR requires that all residents achieve a minimum skill set in PoCUS to successfully complete residency. The ultrasound curriculum is composed of the following: basics of ultrasound, OB ultrasound, musculoskeletal ultrasound, and focused assessment with sonography for trauma (FAST). All residents will be required to complete the basics of ultrasound and OB ultrasound portion of the curriculum. Individual residents may seek further training in the musculoskeletal ultrasound and FAST portions of the ultrasound curriculum if there is perceived use for these skills in their future practice location.