Letters to the Editor
To the Editor: We read with great interest the excellent article by Bahner and Royall1 reporting the effectiveness of a structured ultrasound training program for fourth-year medical students. Interestingly, a thorough observation of the listed course components reveals a lack of peripheral vascular ultrasound examinations. These could be of great value if integrated in such programs, since a recent study2 shows that both incoming internal medicine interns and physicians share generally limited knowledge regarding peripheral arterial disease.
Our medical school’s preliminary experience with pivotal, basic vascular ultrasound training of undergraduate students has shown encouraging results regarding students’ ability to detect the vascular structures in two easily accessible sites of the lower limbs (i.e., the femoral triangle and the popliteal fossa), providing accurate estimations about the presence of venous thrombosis and unimpaired arterial flow. The students’ ability to quickly learn the method and to give accurate hemodynamic assessments makes us optimistic about integrating basic vascular ultrasound teaching into the regular undergraduate surgical curriculum.
Efstratios Georgakarakos, MD
Lecturer on vascular surgery, Department of Vascular Surgery, University Hospital of Alexandroupolis, Democritus University of Thrace, Medical School, Alexandroupolis, Greece; firstname.lastname@example.org.
George Georgiadis, MD
Assistant professor of vascular surgery, Democritus University of Thrace, Medical School, Alexandroupolis, Greece.
Miltos K. Lazarides, MD
Head, Department of Vascular Surgery, and professor of vascular surgery, Democritus University of Thrace, Medical School, Alexandroupolis, Greece.
1. Bahner DP, Royall NA. Advanced ultrasound training for fourth-year medical students: A novel training program at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. Acad Med. 2013;88:206–213
2. Schwarcz AI, Quijano A, Olin JW, Ostfeld RJ. Internal medicine interns have a poor knowledge of peripheral artery disease. Angiology. 2012;63:597–602