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IU School of Medicine expands point-of-care ultrasound training

POCUS device

Students, residents, fellows and faculty will begin using the tool in clinical education settings in Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS—Indiana University School of Medicine is expanding its training program for point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) by investing in portable ultrasound systems for all students, residents, and fellows across seven specialties to use in curricula and patient care at the academic health center in Indianapolis.

POCUS is a handheld diagnostic imaging tool used at the bedside along with a tablet. Its versatility allows for widespread use across different medical specialties, with the device even fitting into a practitioner's white coat pocket.

“Many physicians consider POCUS the stethoscope of the future, and as such its use is rapidly growing in medical practices across the country,” said Paul Wallach, MD, executive associate dean for educational affairs and chief academic officer at IU School of Medicine. “As one of the only medical schools with this expanded training of our POCUS curriculum, we are leading the effort to bring this innovative technology into health care systems to help provide better care for patients in Indiana and beyond.”

The school first began using POCUS devices manufactured by Butterfly Network with medical students in 2018. Students will continue to receive training through a comprehensive POCUS curriculum that spans all four years of medical school, but now residency and fellowship programs in family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, anesthesia, OB-GYN, surgery and critical care will use the devices, as well.


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“IU School of Medicine is truly leading the way in using this innovative technology to train the next generation of physicians,” said Rob Ferre, MD, program director of IU School of Medicine’s POCUS initiative. “POCUS allows students to see beneath the surface of the skin and see the inner workings of the body in action. Imagine how transformative this will be as they master this skill and can then show patients what is going right, or wrong, within their body.”

Faculty will also receive training on how to use the devices, allowing them to learn how to use this state-of-the-art technology in a variety of settings.

“We have created an ecosystem where students, faculty and residents can all collaborate, learn and teach one another,” Wallach said. “As we’re training the physicians of tomorrow, we think today, POCUS is an important part of that.”

Funding for the project was provided by a grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Primary Care Reaffirmation for Indiana Medical Education (PRIME) program, with Wallach and Bradley Allen, PhD, MD as co-principal investigators.

About IU School of Medicine

IU School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the U.S. and is annually ranked among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers high-quality medical education, access to leading medical research and rich campus life in nine Indiana cities, including rural and urban locations consistently recognized for livability.