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More on the Use of Portable Ultrasound by Medical Students for Normal Anatomy

Posted Sep 21 2012 12:00am

Dr. Brian Sabb, a radiologist, submitted a comment to a recent post (see: Medical Students at Mount Sinai Provided with Portable Ultrasound Devices ) which was instructive that I am promoting it to the level of a note. --Bruce Friedman

This is a great move by Mt. Sinai. Just as the article said, the US will aid with the physical diagnosis skills of the students. And Dr. Friedman is right in stating that the portable ultrasound devices will help students learn anatomy. Not just the anatomy in texts or cadavers, but real...breathing, moving, and living anatomy.

There have been recent studies about this same topic this including this and this . This first link is to an abstract and the second is to the full article. Here's a portion of the latter authors' conclusion :

Based on our 4-year experience with an integrated ultrasound curriculum, it is clear that ultrasound can be successfully introduced across all 4 years of medical school. It has also been shown that students can readily learn focused ultrasound examinations well and that the students enjoy their ultrasound experience. They overwhelmingly report that ultrasound has enhanced their medical education.

At the present time, ultrasound imaging is dominated by radiologists and a few other categories of specialists (i.e., cardiologists, vascular surgeons) However, I feel that ultimately ultrasound will be best suited for "point of care" imaging of patients. Hopefully and in the near future, primary care physicians will be performing these procedures. Soon afterwards it will be the medics (already starting to do it) on the battlefields and the EMTs who are also on the front line of health care delivery.

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