Skip to Content

School of Medicine


Banner Image Ultrasound Institute

Ultrasound Institute

With rapid advances in ultrasound technology making machines smaller, cheaper and smarter, ultrasonography as a clinical tool could very well be the stethoscope of the future. Mobile imaging devices can save lives and reduce the time and costs for downstream healthcare services.

About Us

We predict that the power of ultrasound, as a learning and patient safety tool as well as a diagnostic instrument, will drive it to become a vital component of undergraduate and graduate medical education.

We also believe there will be a strong demand for use of ultrasonography by practicing physicians throughout the state and across the nation. A critical step in general physician use, however, will be the availability of quality training programs.

With the above perspectives in mind, the USC School of Medicine has developed an extensive ultrasound training program to train our medical students, medical residents and practicing physicians in primary care from around the state, the Southeast and globally.

Program activities involving ultrasound currently underway at the USC School of Medicine:

Funding for the USI comes from grants, gifts and endowments, as well as university support.

News

Southern Medical Journal Issue Focuses on POCUS

The Southern Medical Journal published a special issue on point-of-care ultrasound as an "introduction for the readers to the expanding utilization of this technology in the clinical setting." A number of USC's School of Medicine Faculty contributed to the issue.


Ultrasound Institute Faculty Publication Highlighted on Cover of Advances in Physiology Education Journal

The journal article, “Using ultrasound to teach medical students cardiac physiology,” authored by Dr. Floyd “Tripp” Bell, Department of Radiology, Dr. Britt Wilson, Department of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Neuroscience, and Dr. Richard Hoppmann, Ultrasound Institute, and published in the December 2015 issue of Advances in Physiology Education, is featured on the cover of the journal. 


School of Medicine Ultrasound Institute's Nine-Year Ultrasound Paper Published

The School of Medicine Ultrasound Institute's nine-year ultrasound curriculum paper has been published and is available as an open access article for all to read in Critical Ultrasound Journal.


School of Medicine Ultrasound Education Program Featured in American Airlines Magazine

The School of Medicine Ultrasound Institute was recently featured in the October 2015 issue of the "American Way Magazine," American Airlines' in-flight publication.

Calendar
Grants

“The Use of Hand-Held Ultrasound Units to Enhance Medical Student Primary Care Clinical Training” – Fullerton Foundation $208,945

Thirty pocket-size, hand-held ultrasound units (GE Healthcare Vscan) have been purchased for integration into the third year family medicine, pediatrics and internal medicine clerkship training programs. Implementation of this program will enable the USC School of Medicine to more fully prepare its graduates in the use of ultrasound in clinical practice and thus enhance the future effectiveness of the primary care workforce.

Students are issued a Vscan at the beginning of each of their three primary care rotations and acquire images of the heart to assess global cardiac function. In addition, they acquire abdominal images to assess for abdominal aorta aneurysm, IVC, pleural and pericardial effusions, urinary bladder retention and ascites, depending on the clerkship. Students are encouraged to use the Vscan to image as many patients as possible during both their inpatient and outpatient experiences. Saved images, student notes on reasons for acquisition of images and their impact if any on patient outcomes, and an end of rotation evaluation enable the project staff to monitor progress and evaluate the utility of the Vscan in medical education.


 

“Development of an Ultrasound Screening Program for Abdominal Aorta Aneurysm in Men over 65 who have ever Smoked” – Fullerton Foundation: $82,450

The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) issued recommendations in early 2005 that were adopted by the Veterans Health Administration, that men 65 to 75 years of age who have ever smoked be offered a screening for Abdominal Aorta Aneurysm (AAA) by ultrasonography. A ruptured AAA is the 10th most common cause of death for men 55 years and older. There are nearly 14,000 male veteran patients in the Dorn VA Medical Center (VAMC) and its community outpatient centers who meet this criteria. To supplement the existing capacity of the Dorn VAMC Radiology Service, two laptop ultrasound units have been purchased and a pool of practitioners from the Primary Care and Medical Services will be trained to screen patients for AAA with ultrasound as part of a usual office visit. The results of this pilot, performed in partnership with the Dorn Research Institute, will be used to advocate for incorporation of AAA ultrasound screening into the standard of care at the Dorn VAMC.


 

“Ultrasonography Training and Patient Safety” - The Fullerton Foundation: $228,000

The grant award was used to up-fit the Ultrasound Institute, particularly the classroom and hands-on laboratory with furniture, stretchers, and practice models/phantoms as well as audio-video equipment necessary to carry out the training programs.

Global Initiatives

The University of South Carolina School of Medicine initiated an integrated ultrasound curriculum for medical students in 2006 and an ultrasound training program for rural South Carolina primary care physicians in 2008. In September of 2011, the School of Medicine formed an ultrasound training partnership with physicians, medical students, and other healthcare providers at the Arusha Lutheran Medical Center in Arusha, Tanzania. The partnership consists of on-site training, access to ultrasound learning modules, and on-going review of images from Arusha by our ultrasound faculty. Additional on-site visits to Arusha are planned as well as visits to our Ultrasound Institute in South Carolina for train-the-trainer sessions for physicians from Tanzania. 

Location and Directions

6311 Garners Ferry Rd
Columbia, SC 29209

Get directions via Google Maps.