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Acad Emerg Med. 2012 Sep;19(9):E1073-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2012.01430.x.

The current state of ultrasound training in canadian emergency medicine programs: perspectives from program directors.

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Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



There is a paucity of data about emergency ultrasound (EUS) training in emergency medicine (EM) residency programs accredited by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (Royal College) and the College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC). Historically the progress of EUS in Canada has been different from that in the United States. We describe the current state of EUS training in both Royal College and CFPC-EM programs.


All Royal College EM program directors and all CFPC-EM program directors were invited to participate in a website-based survey. Main outcome measures were characteristics of currently offered EUS training.


The response rate of the survey was 100% (30/30). EUS is part of the formal residency curriculum in 100% (13/13) of Royal College EM programs and in 88% (15/17) of CFPC-EM programs. EM resident rotations in ultrasound (US) are provided by 77% (10/13) of Royal College programs but only 47% (8/17) of CFPC-EM programs. There are specific requirements for numbers of EUS exams to be completed by graduation in 77% (10/13) of Royal College programs and 47% (8/17) of CFPC-EM programs. EM faculty and residents make clinical decisions and patient dispositions based on their EUS interpretation without a consultative study by radiology in 100% (13/13) of Royal College programs and 88% (15/17) of CFPC-EM programs. However, 69% (9/13) of Royal College programs and 53% (9/17) of CFPC-EM programs have no formal quality assurance program in place.


EUS training in Canadian EM programs is prevalent, but there are considerable discrepancies among residency programs in scope of training, curricula, determination of proficiency, and quality assurance. These findings suggest variability in both the level and the quality of EUS training in Canada.

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