April 16, 2024

Heersink School of Medicine hosts POCUS trainings in partnership with the Global Ultrasound Institute

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Website Image Sizer 2Since October 2023, Heersink School of Medicine’s Department of Medical Education has hosted several faculty training sessions in partnership with the Global Ultrasound Institute (GUSI). GUSI aims to equip medical professionals with skills to effectively use Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) devices.

POCUS is seen as a significant step forward in modern medical technology, and UAB’s commitment to hosting faculty training sessions displays its continued mission to be a cutting-edge leader in medicine. Through the generous funds provided through a Department of Family and Community Medicine HRSA Grant, many Heersink faculty, residents, and students have been able to participate in this training free of charge.

Kevin Bergman, M.D., and Mena Ramos, M.D., co-founders and co-CEOs of GUSI, have facilitated the training weekends which feature two separate sessions, each spanning two days. The training involves a mixture of modalities ranging from informative talks and engaging team-building activities to hands-on demonstrations of ultrasound imaging techniques.

Website Image Sizer 3GUSI uses an evidence-based approach for the training sessions, providing a level of expertise and knowledge with POCUS beyond what Heersink School of Medicine can offer on its own.

In the hands-on sessions, faculty have been able to use POCUS devices on standardized patients and, guided by GUSI staff, see the technology’s impact on patient examination. GUSI’s training models include in-depth demonstrations and practice sessions in cardiac, pulmonary, abdominal, vascular, and musculoskeletal imaging. The focus is on simple imaging techniques that allow clinicians to make diagnoses at the bedside that previously would require the delay and cost of formal imaging. This can be life-saving in emergency or low-resource settings.

Senior associate dean for Medical Education, Craig Hoesley, M.D., attended the workshops and noted, “The value provided here by the Global Ultrasound Institute and its staff is profound. This technology is pushing the boundaries of what we can provide in patient care, especially for our patients here in Alabama. Our mission is to serve the patients of our state, many of whom reside in rural regions and who would benefit from physicians empowered with the training to use this technology effectively. Equipping our faculty and students with this level of knowledge and training is a major step forward for our institution and the physicians we train in accomplishing this goal.”

Website Image Sizer 1The Department of Medical Education has encouraged not only its faculty and residents to attend sessions but also its students to take advantage of the valuable opportunity presented by GUSI’s effective hands-on methods and experiences. Students are given the chance to participate as trainees alongside faculty and as standardized patients during the ultrasound demonstrations.

This coordinated effort between UAB and GUSI has been a major step towards expanding the use and teaching of this new technology at Heersink School of Medicine.

The next POCUS training led by GUSI educators is scheduled for April 19-22. Visit the Global Ultrasound Institute’s website for more information about the GUSI community and to access additional training and development opportunities.