A training programme in screening echocardiography

Clin Teach. 2013 Jun;10(3):176-80. doi: 10.1111/tct.12019.


Background: Although the value of echocardiography in acutely unwell patients is well established, it is often difficult to deliver conventional studies immediately. This has led to the development of training programmes in screening echocardiography.

Context: Echocardiography is a difficult skill to master and requires an integration of knowledge-based learning and mentored practical training.

Innovation: We developed a three-stage programme: (1) a 1-day course containing didactic lectures on normal and abnormal pathology, a 2-hour practical element with rotation through different tutors then seminars and self-assessment, with an interactive quiz; (2) a period of consolidation via apprenticeship with a recognised trainer; and (3) formal assessment.

Implications: We propose a specific training programme to teach the difficult practical skill of screening echocardiography. The use of theoretical and practical elements with structured teaching and an apprenticeship may serve as a model for teaching other practical skills in clinical medicine.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Curriculum
  • Echocardiography*
  • Humans
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Mass Screening / organization & administration*
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / education*
  • Program Development
  • Teaching / methods*