Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Curriculum
To help foster resident competence in ultrasound skills, we have developed a unique POCUS curriculum that residents participate in throughout their time at UNC that we fondly refer to as the “UNC Basal-Bolus POCUS Curriculum.” This is composed of a required longitudinal curriculum to establish baseline POCUS skills that all PGY-1 residents participate in (the basal part of the curve) and boluses of education throughout the next 2-3 years by way of our 2-week intensive POCUS elective and other injections of POCUS throughout the years.
Intern Longitudinal Curriculum (Basal)
Residents learn from hands-on teaching sessions where they are supervised by ultrasound trained faculty to acquire normal POCUS images on each other. These sessions are then followed by abnormal image review sessions relevant to the recently taught hands-on skills to reinforce knowledge and become familiar with the ultrasonographic appearance of common pathologies. Upper-level residents help teach our hands-on sessions, further reinforcing skills they learned during intern year.
2-Week Intensive POCUS Elective (Bolus)
Upper-level residents can choose to participate in a 2-week POCUS elective, which consists of an intensive 2-day bootcamp followed by staffing the POCUS consult pager. Any team in the hospital can consult the POCUS team to help them answer diagnostic questions or help guide next therapeutic steps. Consults are seen during afternoon “gel rounds” with POCUS faculty. Residents interested in attending rheumatology or sports medicine clinics can spend time with POCUS preceptors in these clinics during their elective time.
Additional POCUS Education
Residents build on their POCUS portfolios while on inpatient rotations and nights and are encouraged to help lead journal clubs and POCUS-focused resident conferences, mentored by one of our skilled faculty members. POCUS images are also frequently discussed in resident morning report to emphasize the utility of ultrasound in diagnostic reasoning.
Outside of these formal curricula, all residents receive diagnostic POCUS training through their rotations in the ICU and ED. Procedural POCUS training is stressed during required time on the Medicine Procedure Service.
The hope is with all of these purposeful injections of teaching, our graduating physicians will achieve competence in point-of-care ultrasound, which is an essential skill for internal medicine physicians to learn.