From abdominal ultrasound to echocardiogram, ultrasound imaging helps physicians evaluate, diagnose and treat medical conditions. Now, a new elective offered at the Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM), is allowing second-year students to sharpen their skills with the popular medical tool.
“This course is definitely something that’s unique in that not every medical school offers it, so this definitely gives our students an edge,” said Dr. Marlin Trainer, DO, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at ICOM.
The five-week elective course is comprised of 50 to 60 hours of didactic learning and 20 hours of hands-on ultrasound. The goal of the course is to expose students to the use of point-of-care ultrasound in the clinical setting.
“Ultrasound is one of my passions. It kind of has taken the place of the stethoscope and gives us a lot better information,” Dr. Trainer said. “…so in the clinical world, it’s actually a lot better than x-rays in many cases.”
The course is offered only to students in their second year of study at ICOM, toward the end of the second semester, before the future physicians embark on their clinical clerkships.
“I feel like this is something that can give me an advantage going into clinical rotations where I can walk in and have the anatomy down, know where to place the ultrasound probe and just be able to visualize structures in an effective way,” said Catalina O’Toole, OMS-II at ICOM.