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National Ultrasound Curriculum for Medical Students

Baltarowich, Oksana H. MD*; Di Salvo, Donald N. MD; Scoutt, Leslie M. MD; Brown, Douglas L. MD§; Cox, Christian W. MD; DiPietro, Michael A. MD¶#; Glazer, Daniel I. MD#; Hamper, Ulrike M. MD, MBA**; Manning, Maria A. MD††; Nazarian, Levon N. MD*‡‡; Neutze, Janet A. MD§§; Romero, Miriam MD∥∥; Stephenson, Jason W. MD¶¶; Dubinsky, Theodore J. MD##

doi: 10.1097/RUQ.0000000000000066
Topics in Ultrasound Education

Ultrasound (US) is an extremely useful diagnostic imaging modality because of its real-time capability, noninvasiveness, portability, and relatively low cost. It carries none of the potential risks of ionizing radiation exposure or intravenous contrast administration. For these reasons, numerous medical specialties now rely on US not only for diagnosis and guidance for procedures, but also as an extension of the physical examination. In addition, many medical school educators recognize the usefulness of this technique as an aid to teaching anatomy, physiology, pathology, and physical diagnosis. Radiologists are especially interested in teaching medical students the appropriate use of US in clinical practice. Educators who recognize the power of this tool have sought to incorporate it into the medical school curriculum. The basic question that educators should ask themselves is: “What should a student graduating from medical school know about US?” To aid them in answering this question, US specialists from the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound and the Alliance of Medical School Educators in Radiology have collaborated in the design of a US curriculum for medical students. The implementation of such a curriculum will vary from institution to institution, depending on the resources of the medical school and space in the overall curriculum. Two different examples of how US can be incorporated vertically or horizontally into a curriculum are described, along with an explanation as to how this curriculum satisfies the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies, modified for the education of our future physicians.

*Department of Radiology, Jefferson Ultrasound Radiology & Education Institute and Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA; †Harvard Medical School and Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA; ‡Department Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; §Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; ∥University of Colorado School of Medicine, Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine, and National Jewish Health, Denver, CO; ¶CS Mott Children’s Hospital and #University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; **Russell H. Morgan Department of Radiology and Radiological Science, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; and ††Department of Radiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD; ‡‡Department of Radiology, Thomas Jefferson University; and §§Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Hershey, PA; ∥∥Department of Radiology, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA; ¶¶Department of Radiology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI; and ##Department of Radiology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.

Received for publication December 20, 2013; accepted December 26, 2013.

Reprints: Oksana H. Baltarowich, MD, Department of Radiology, Jefferson Ultrasound Radiology & Education Institute, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, 132 S 10th St, Suite 763D Philadelphia, PA 19107 (e-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins