I am delighted to serve as the inaugural Director of Ultrasound Education at DGSOM. I liken clinician-performed or point-of-care ultrasonography (POCUS) to a language, in that it takes sustained practice to use POCUS confidently, but once this is achieved, it offers practitioners innovative ways to care for their patients.
It is a relatively new language in medicine that conveys detailed information about patients’ physiology and pathology with much more precision than the traditional physical exam and plain film imaging, as well as delivering this information in real-time, at the bedside, to be shared between the physician and patient. POCUS findings can be communicated between specialties, leading potentially to expedited care, as well as reductions in testing and wait times. In addition, medical procedures incorporating ultrasound guidance have proven to be safer and with increased patient satisfaction than traditional “blind” procedures.
The language of POCUS is becoming rapidly adopted in medicine, with specialties like anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, radiology, and emergency medicine providing POCUS training to their residents, with many more specialties starting to implement POCUS in their clinical training. While each specialty has adopted a particular set of POCUS applications for their clinical practice and patient population, all specialties share a common foundation of POCUS skills and knowledge.