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Piedmont Athens Regional GME Program

1270 Prince Avenue, Suite 102
Athens, GA 30606

Point of Care Ultrasound

Technological advances and increased portability of ultrasound machines have led to the rapid growth of limited bedside ultrasonography, known as Point of Care Ultrasonography (POCUS). Benefits of POCUS include increased diagnostic accuracy, decreased procedural complications, and reduced radiation exposure to patients. POCUS is not meant to supplant traditional diagnostic ultrasonography. Instead, POCUS is intended to be used in conjunction with a patient’s history and physical exam findings to augment real-time clinical decision-making, leading to expedited treatment or more refined diagnostic testing strategies.

Ultrasound has been shown to have diagnostic utility in many disease processes. First, POCUS has been shown to provide a superior cardiac exam even when used by medical students compared to the stethoscope of a trained cardiologist. Second, POCUS has been used in the ED to rapidly evaluate dyspneic patients with similar results compared to slower and costlier diagnostic workups.  Finally, POCUS has been shown to be a critical tool when evaluating patients with undifferentiated shock or hypotension.

During this ultrasound curriculum, residents will be exposed to 11 different core modules, develop technical skills by working with the General Ultrasound Lab, Echocardiography and Vascular Ultrasound technicians, and integrate POCUS into various procedures encountered by the internist.

Themes Covered During the Rotation

  • Principles of Ultrasound Physics
  • Echogenicity and Attenuation
  • Machine Modes
  • Instrumentation
  • Transducers
  • Image Orientation
  • Ultrasound Artifacts
  • Safety and Bioeffects
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