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Students help bring point-of-care ultrasound into curriculum

Students can enhance their training in point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) by checking out a hand-held ultrasound probe to explore and familiarize themselves with techniques and technology used in POCUS.

Point of Care Ultrasound
Eli Brumfield, D.O., FACP, KU School of Medicine-Wichita Simulation Center medical director, uses the Vimedix Ultrasound Simulator at a recent training.

Being able to peek inside patients with a pocket-size ultrasound probe sounds ideal for the rural family medicine practice Bethany Peach envisions. That's why Peach and other KU School of Medicine-Wichita students are helping bring point-of-care ultrasound, known as POCUS, into the campus curriculum.

"I thought it was an up-and-coming thing for family medicine," Peach, a fourth-year student from Onaga in northeast Kansas, said. "I kind of want to get a head start."

Peach said she's following up on an effort started last year by Jeremy Lickteig, who's now a family medicine resident at Ascension Via Christi. Lickteig and another fourth-year student asked to do a two-week elective course in POCUS. The school's Department of Family & Community Medicine partnered with the school's Simulation Center to make that happen. The students spent one week practicing in the center and the other following physicians who use POCUS bedside.

The family medicine department is offering the POCUS elective again this year. Peach and another student have taken up the role of POCUS "champions," Erin Doyle, the Simulation Center's program director, said. Other departments at the school are also incorporating POCUS into their curriculum, Doyle said.

Peach, who's co-chair of the student POCUS interest group, said there are a couple of ways for students to become better trained in POCUS. They can check out a hand-held ultrasound probe from the Family Medicine Interest Group and practice on their own. The interest group has created an online POCUS packet that students can explore to familiarize themselves with techniques and technology used in POCUS. The group also hopes to get classmates into the Simulation Center to practice POCUS on Bob, a medical manikin that can manifest about 600 pathologies. The center has hand-held probes as well as a full-size ultrasound machine.

POCUS isn't a new concept, Peach noted, but interest in it "has kind of blown up the past year" at KU Wichita.

"If I can help get it going, that's fantastic."

For more information or to join the POCUS interest group, please contact POCUS interest group co-chairs Bethany Peach at bpeach@kumc.edu or Holly Burt at hburt@kumc.edu.

Joel Grigsby, M.D., serves as an assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, and taught a recent training in acute point-of-care ultrasound at KU School of Medicine-Wichita Simulation Center

Above: Joel Grigsby, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, taught a recent training in acute point-of-care ultrasound at KU School of Medicine-Wichita Simulation Center. The "patient," Chris Schrage, is a standardized (trained) patient at the school. SPs help students build relationships in the exam room as well as demonstrate symptoms for various illnesses.


KU School of Medicine-Wichita

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