The evolution of an integrated ultrasound curriculum (iUSC) for medical students: 9-year experience

Crit Ultrasound J. 2015 Dec;7(1):18. doi: 10.1186/s13089-015-0035-3. Epub 2015 Nov 21.


Interest in ultrasound education in medical schools has increased dramatically in recent years as reflected in a marked increase in publications on the topic and growing attendance at international meetings on ultrasound education. In 2006, the University of South Carolina School of Medicine introduced an integrated ultrasound curriculum (iUSC) across all years of medical school. That curriculum has evolved significantly over the 9 years. A review of the curriculum is presented, including curricular content, methods of delivery of the content, student assessment, and program assessment. Lessons learned in implementing and expanding an integrated ultrasound curriculum are also presented as are thoughts on future directions of undergraduate ultrasound education. Ultrasound has proven to be a valuable active learning tool that can serve as a platform for integrating the medical student curriculum across many disciplines and clinical settings. It is also well-suited for a competency-based model of medical education. Students learn ultrasound well and have embraced it as an important component of their education and future practice of medicine. An international consensus conference on ultrasound education is recommended to help define the essential elements of ultrasound education globally to ensure ultrasound is taught and ultimately practiced to its full potential. Ultrasound has the potential to fundamentally change how we teach and practice medicine to the benefit of learners and patients across the globe.

Keywords: Education; Integrated curriculum; Medical students; Ultrasound.