Mastering theories, techniques, and skills

Our longitudinal program spans each year of the DGSOM Heals undergraduate medical curriculum and follows a modular format that builds upon prior knowledge and skills to comprehensively cover POCUS theories, techniques, and skills training in a variety of clinical environments. Students graduate prepared to apply their learnings in clinical settings.

Medical students using equipment in POCUS intro course

Year 1

The first year of POCUS education targets core concepts of anatomy and physiology, as well as traditional physical examination and image acquisition skills via active learning sessions held in Basecamp, Foundations of Practice (FoP), and Scientific Foundations of Medicine (SFM). 

In total, each students will receive over ten sessions of POCUS training, covering all major organ systems. In addition, students have multiple opportunities for supervised practice via the Ultrasound Student Interest Group and weekly Ultrasound Education office hours.

Read more about Heals Year 1



Year 2

The second year of POCUS education, delivered via Intersessions and select clerkships, introduces students to core abnormal findings while revisiting basic concepts and image acquisition skills. 

During clerkships, students will perform applicable POCUS skills on their patients with faculty and resident physician guidance.

  • Internal Medicine: Echocardiography and Inferior vena cava ultrasound
  • Emergency Medicine: peripheral IV insertion, assessment of dyspneic patients
  • Family Medicine: evaluation of cellulitis and abscess (proposed)
  • Surgery: abdominal and hepatobiliary ultrasound
  • ObGyn: Fetal heart rate assessment, presence of intrauterine pregnancy, and amniotic fluid index 
  • Pediatrics: abdominal ultrasound and gross bladder volume assessment (proposed)
  • Neurology: lumbar puncture guidance

Year 3

The third year of POCUS education gives students the opportunity, after practicing core POCUS skills during their clinical clerkships, to further refine their POCUS knowledge and skills via asynchronous platforms and workshops tailored to their skill level. In addition, students can choose to pursue further training as peer educators in the Discovery TMEP program, which will further solidify their knowledge by teaching POCUS concepts and techniques to first- and second-year students.

Read more about Heals Year 3



Year 4

The fourth year focuses on POCUS knowledge within specialties via blended learning electives. In these electives, students learn even more about how each speciality uses ultrasound. Resources that allow for student participation in these electives include handheld ultrasounds, as well as access to high-fidelity POCUS simulators and task trainers. In addition, POCUS is a component of the one-week College Foundations and Assessment for Internship courses that help prepare students to become sub-interns and resident physicians.

Elective options include: 

  • OV/RR EM POCUS elective
  • Harbor EM POCUS elective 
  • Anesthesiology POCUS elective 
  • Internal Medicine POCUS elective 
  • Radiology electives featuring diagnostic ultrasound
  • Electives in cardiology, sports and physical medicine, obgyn, and emergency medicine that involve significant ultrasound use

Read more about Heals Year 4