The mission of the Primary Care Ultrasound Fellowship is to develop physicians in the specialties of internal medicine, family medicine and pediatrics who have the expertise to use ultrasound at the point-of-care in outpatient and inpatient settings, who can conduct research in ultrasound applications in primary care and can educate medical students, residents and practicing physicians.
The Primary Care Ultrasound (PCU) Fellowship is a year-long training program for physicians in the primary care specialties who are interested in learning and teaching the acquisition, interpretation and application of medical ultrasound technology at the point-of-care. The fellowship is open to graduates of internal medicine, medicine-pediatrics, and family medicine residency programs and aims to train fellows in the use of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) and train the next generation of educators and leaders in ultrasound.
The primary aim of the fellowship is to help physicians from the primary care specialties create an academic niche in ultrasound education and practice. POCUS is rapidly gaining acceptance as an important teaching and clinical practice tool across many topics and specialties. The future is very bright for academicians with expertise in ultrasound – teaching, practice, research, grants, publications, and leadership roles regionally, nationally, and globally.
The fellowship accepts two fellows per academic year: one for an internal medicine POCUS track and one for a family medicine track.
The fellowship offers the following:
- State-of-the-art facilities and equipment
- Valuable support from the USCSOM Ultrasound Institute, the primary care departments and the hospital
- Unlimited access to laptop and handheld ultrasound units as well as ultrasound simulators
- Nationally recognized leaders in ultrasound in medical education
- Competitive compensation and benefits
- Opportunities to attend national and international programs with exposure to leaders in primary care ultrasound
Fellows develop skills in the use ultrasound at the point-of-care in outpatient and inpatient settings, conduct clinical research, and educate medical students, residents, and practicing physicians. Working closely with the USCSOM and the Prisma Health-USC medical group, the curriculum provides opportunities to learn from national leaders in the field of point-of-care ultrasound, including practicing clinicians and educators. Fellows learn a wide range of ultrasound applications, including cardiac, lung, abdominal, critical care, emergency medicine, procedural, obstetrics, gynecology, and musculoskeletal ultrasound. Applications of ultrasound are constantly growing and a certain degree of flexibility is allotted to better develop additional skills in different settings.
Fellows will develop their teaching skills through presentations and bedside teaching to medical students, residents, and practicing physicians. In the role of educator, the fellow will participate actively in implementation and further development of the Integrated Ultrasound Curriculum (i-USC®) at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
PCU Fellowship History
The University of South Carolina School of Medicine (USCSOM) Ultrasound Institute (USI) and Prisma Health Richland (PHR) have been national leaders in the integration of ultrasound in medical education and the development of clinical applications of ultrasound since 2005. As part of this long-term commitment to point-of-care ultrasound education and clinical practice, the USCSOM USI began the Primary Care Ultrasound Fellowship in 2011, the first non-Emergency-Medicine POCUS fellowship in the country. Now part of Prisma Health, the PCU Fellowship maintains strong ties with the USCSOM and USI.
Prisma Health and the USC SOM USI have experienced ultrasound educators, state of the art ultrasound equipment, ultrasound learning material, and ultrasound simulation. The USI founded the Society of Ultrasound in Medical Education (SUSME: http://www.susme.org/ ) which hosted the First and Second World Congresses on Ultrasound in Medical Education and has conducted many workshops for internal medicine, family medicine and pediatric organizations as well as the AAMC, the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, and American Physiology Society. The USI also has strong partnerships with multiple ultrasound companies and ultrasound organizations including the AIUM and the ARDMS. The Institute has industry interest in several of its patents.
The fellowship curriculum was recently published in the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine
Ultrasound Fellowship Educational Experience
The fellowship is twelve months in length, beginning on July 1 of each academic year. The curriculum includes:
Ultrasound Skills Acquisition:
- Develop expertise in the following point-of-care ultrasound examinations, performing a minimum of 500 total reviewed studies, using a cloud-based portal system to send studies for review:
- Critical Care
- Emergency Medicine
- Obstetrics and gynecology (FM track)
- Ultrasound-guided procedures
- Develop and conduct presentations in classroom, small group, and bedside settings across a wide range of learners, including students, residents, and practicing physicians
- Participate in educational activities for the USC School of Medicine Integrated Ultrasound Curriculum (i-USC®) for medical students
- Learn the processes involved and develop web-based learning modules in conjunction with fellowship faculty and production manager in USCSOM Office of Media Resources
- Develop and implement outcome measures for educational programs
Develop knowledge of processes for IRB review, grant proposal submission, and journal-specific publication
- Develop and implement a clinical research project for point-of-care ultrasound application and submit the results for presentation or publication
- Attend CME activities and ultrasound-related meetings
To support the fellowship, internal medicine fellows work 0.5FTE attending on wards for the internal medicine resident inpatient team. Family medicine fellows also attend some on wards for the FM resident service but generally work 0.5FTE in the FM outpatient clinic.
To be considered for the fellowship, please submit a current CV and a short statement of your interest in the fellowship to firstname.lastname@example.org. We also ask for 2 letters of recommendation.