Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Curriculum

Bedside ultrasound is emerging as a necessary skill in modern medicine. Our Internal Medicine residents receive ultrasound training to prepare them for success in their future careers. Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) is embedded within the educational curriculum throughout Internal Medicine residency training at Wake Forest. Our residents develop skills to perform and interpret bedside ultrasound exams and learn to incorporate POCUS findings into their clinical reasoning. 

Graphic illustration point-of-care ultrasound curriculum for internal medicine residentsResidents receive ultrasound training through a multimodal educational approach involving hands-on workshops, lectures, POCUS Focus Noon Report case conferences, educational gel rounds on hospitalized patients, and encouraged use of POCUS in the clinical setting. New interns go through an Intern POCUS Boot Camp within the first two months of starting residency, where they learn fundamental ultrasound concepts and scanning technique. The supportive nature of the program fosters a mentorship-like mentality that enables residents to enhance their ultrasound skills while simultaneously taking excellent care of their patients. At the end of each academic year, interested residents can apply to become a POCUS Champion. Our upper-level POCUS Champions undergo additional, more rigorous ultrasound training to become POCUS instructors for interns and medical students during workshops, on the wards and in clinic.

We have top-of-the-line ultrasound equipment located throughout our clinical workspaces, including both handheld and cart-based machines. Additionally, our residency program has a strong partnership with the Center for Experiential and Applied Learning (CEAL), which gives us access to a Vimedix ultrasound simulator on which residents can fine-tune their POCUS skills and learn to recognize pathology in a stress free educational environment.

POCUS Champion Pathway

All Wake Forest Internal Medicine residents receive POCUS training through our innovative POCUS Curriculum. The POCUS Champion pathway is an additional training pathway within the residency program for upper-level Internal Medicine residents who want to develop their bedside ultrasound knowledge and skills beyond that of the average resident. Residents in this training pathway undergo more rigorous POCUS training to enhance their clinical reasoning and improve their diagnostic skills, medical management and procedural capabilities. In addition to developing their own skills with ultrasound, they learn to teach POCUS in the clinical setting, during workshops and in the classroom during “POCUS Focus Noon Report” case presentations. Residents who are part of this pathway develop into POCUS mentors for their peers. They become leaders for the Wake Forest Internal Medicine resident POCUS curriculum and help contribute to the POCUS curriculum within the Wake Forest School of Medicine. Furthermore, resident POCUS Champions are encouraged to get involved in POCUS-related research and scholarly activity.

Rising upper-level residents are eligible to apply for this pathway each spring. If accepted, they go through a 4-month training period May–August. During this training period, residents work closely with POCUS-trained faculty and complete training requirements designed with a multimodal approach to POCUS education, including online learning assignments (modules, videos, etc.), written assessments, supervised scanning of hospitalized patients and focused small-group teaching sessions on our Vimedix simulated ultrasound. After completing their POCUS Champion training, residents in the POCUS Champion pathway are encouraged to utilize POCUS within the clinical setting. They play a vital role in the POCUS education of interns and medical students on their inpatient teams and contribute to the further development of the POCUS curriculum.  

POCUS Champion Scholarly Activity

Resident POCUS champions are encouraged to contribute to the future of medicine by taking part in POCUS-related projects that demonstrate the widespread utility of POCUS within the field of Internal Medicine. POCUS Champions are encouraged to write up their interesting POCUS cases as clinical vignettes for presentations at regional and national meetings. They have the opportunity to write POCUS review articles for publication in peer-reviewed journals and can get involved with clinical, educational and QI research projects related to POCUS. Following is some of the scholarly activity accomplished by our resident POCUS Champions in recent years.