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Intern Emerg Med. 2014 Oct;9(7):805-14. doi: 10.1007/s11739-014-1113-4. Epub 2014 Aug 22.

Bedside ultrasonography (US), Echoscopy and US point of care as a new kind of stethoscope for Internal Medicine Departments: the training program of the Italian Internal Medicine Society (SIMI).

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Department of Internal Medicine, Internal Medicine A, Maggiore Hospital, Bologna, Italy,


In recent years, thanks to the development of miniaturized ultrasound devices, comparable to personal computers, tablets and even to smart phones, we have seen an increasing use of bedside ultrasound in internal medicine departments as a novel kind of ultrasound stethoscope. The clinical ultrasound-assisted approach has proved to be particularly useful in assessing patients with nodules of the neck, dyspnoea, abdominal pain, and with limb edema. In several cases, it has allowed a simple, rapid and precise diagnosis. Since 2005, the Italian Society of Internal Medicine and its Ultrasound Study Group has been holding a Summer School and training courses in ultrasound for residents in internal medicine. A national network of schools in bedside ultrasound was then organized for internal medicine specialists who want to learn this technique. Because bedside ultrasound is a user-dependent diagnostic method, it is important to define the limits and advantages of different new ultrasound devices, to classify them (i.e. Echoscopy and Point of Care Ultrasound), to establish appropriate different levels of competence and to ensure their specific training. In this review, we describe the point of view of the Italian Internal Medicine Society on these topics.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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