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J Ultrasound Med. 2017 Sep 6. doi: 10.1002/jum.14371. [Epub ahead of print]

Establishing an Ultrasound Curriculum in Undergraduate Medical Education: How Much Time Does It Take?

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University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado, USA.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Denver Health Medical Center, Denver, Colorado, USA.
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado, USA.



Over the years, the use of ultrasound in the medical profession has become a common occurrence. As a result, many medical schools are considering an ultrasound curriculum for first- and second-year medical students. The question posed by many of these programs is how much time and effort are required to establish such a curriculum. We at the University of Colorado School of Medicine sought to quantify the resources and time required.


We conducted a cohort study that analyzed the time spent teaching, as well as the types of instructors (eg, faculty, resident, and peer student) that contributed to our ultrasound curriculum. The study population consisted of instructors who participated in the curriculum during the 2014-2015 academic year. We analyzed the amount of time that facilitators spent teaching and tabulated these data using their specialty.


Our data revealed that within an academic year, a combined total of 484 hours were spent teaching ultrasound to first- and second-year medical students combined. A total of 6 days were required to teach ultrasound to first-year medical students, and a total of 5 days were required for second-year medical students. It required 1 instructor for every 8 students, and most the faculty who volunteered time were from the field of emergency medicine, followed by family medicine and radiology.


We describe the number of hours and instructors required to implement an ultrasound curriculum for undergraduate medical education.


education; ultrasound curriculum; undergraduate medical education

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