Point-of-care ultrasound in internal medicine: A position paper by the ultrasound working group of the European federation of internal medicine

Eur J Intern Med. 2020 Mar;73:67-71. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2019.11.016. Epub 2019 Dec 11.

Abstract

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is increasingly used to assess medical patients. It has many uses in daily clinical practice, including improved diagnostic timeliness and accuracy, and providing information about a patient's prognosis and follow-up. It has been integrated into numerous specialities, but remains relatively undefined in internal medicine training programs. Ultrasonography is a useful tool in the standard clinical practice of internists in numerous clinical scenarios (Emergency Department, hospital ward, general and specific consultations, and home care). Although POCUS has been recently included in the European curriculum of internal medicine, there are differences between European internists in its use, ranging from not at all to well structured educational programs. The use of POCUS needs to be widespread in internal medicine departments, and to accomplish this we must encourage structured training. This document details the consensus-based recommendations by the European Federation of Internal Medicine (EFIM) Ultrasound working group. We establish POCUS core competencies and clinical settings for internists in a symptom-based approach. We also propose training requirements, providing a framework for training programs at a national level.

Keywords: Internal medicine; Point-of-care ultrasound; Training; Ultrasound.

MeSH terms

  • Curriculum
  • Humans
  • Internal Medicine* / education
  • Point-of-Care Systems*
  • Point-of-Care Testing
  • Ultrasonography