Point of Care Ultrasound Curriculum Overview

The University of Iowa Internal Medicine Residency Program Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Curriculum is a longitudinal, integrated, and progressive learning experience.  The POCUS curriculum is focused on teaching basic bedside ultrasonography and how it is utilized and applied to patient care in clinical internal medicine.  The curriculum is integrated into and taught longitudinally during the academic half day during each resident’s ambulatory week (y-week).  POCUS instruction is delivered by experienced faculty members, critical care fellows, and chief residents.  POCUS skills assessments are completed for residents during each year of their training and the POCUS curriculum is modified on a yearly basis to best adapt to the needs of the trainees.

Curriculum Goal: At the end of the longitudinal POCUS curriculum, the resident will be able to acquire, interpret, and apply focused cardiac, lung, pleural, abdominal, and vascular ultrasound imaging into their clinical reasoning and medical decision making.

Teaching Methods:

  • Independent pre-workshop learning materials (POCUS textbook chapters, online modules, etc)
  • Short didactic sessions
  • Hands-on scanning of simulated patients with live faculty mentors and real-time feedback
  • Pathological image interpretation sessions
  • Interactive ultrasound case studies


Basic POCUS Modules (PGY-1)Advanced POCUS Modules (PGY-2 and above)

  • Introduction (US physics, US artifacts, knobology)
  • Lung and Pleural Ultrasound
  • Basic Cardiac Ultrasound
  • Abdominal Ultrasound (FAST)
  • Basic Vascular Ultrasound
  • Lower Extremity Venous Compression Ultrasonography (DVT)
  • BLUE Protocol
  • Advanced Cardiac Ultrasound
  • Gallbladder Ultrasound
  • Lumbar Puncture Ultrasound
  • Soft Tissue Ultrasound

Assessment: Pre- and post-curriculum assessment is completed annually to assess each individual trainee’s skills and knowledge acquisition and retention.  These yearly assessments are also used to assess the curriculum and guide ongoing improvements in the POCUS curriculum.  Assessment is completed using live ultrasound skills testing with faculty proctors, an electronic ultrasound knowledge assessment, and a resident survey.


Ultrasound Resources

You can find Ultrasound Machines in the MICU, CVICU, 6RC, ED

Devices have now become more affordable than ever. Butterfly sells personal devices for $2,000. The ED has butterfly devices that can be used with designated Ipads. Dr. Bauer and Dr. Struble have their own devices as well. Reach out to them for testimonials regarding the device.

Other Resources:

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