Ultrasound Education

November Course to Focus on Point-of-Care and Critical Settings

For the second consecutive year, the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine will conduct a two-day course for clinicians in Winston-Salem this fall. That’s by no means a surprising development, considering the array of resources available through Wake Forest School of Medicine and the longstanding relationship between the AIUM and the medical school’s Program for Medical Ultrasound.


This year’s course – Point-of-Care and Critical Care Ultrasound: Incorporating Ultrasound in the Practice of Medicine – will be held Nov. 14-15, with sessions at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Wake Forest Biotech Place. The program is designed to give physicians (including residents and fellows) and advanced practice providers (physician assistants, nurse practitioners) a comprehensive look at how ultrasound can be employed outside customary clinical settings.

Traditionally, ultrasound has been used more for diagnosis than treatment and transducers have been in the hands of technicians, not doctors. But, thanks partly to advances in technology, things are definitely changing.

“We’ve come to the point where even physicians who traditionally have been reluctant to undertake learning ultrasound know that they should,’’ said Michael Blaivas, MD, an AIUM vice president and a faculty member for the November course.  “Just about everyone now recognizes that ultrasound makes many procedures safer and easier.’’

Under the course’s observation/practice/feedback model of learning, attendees will participate in hands-on sessions, lectures and discussions covering the basics of medical ultrasound on the first day and more advanced and in-depth topics on the second.

What makes Wake Forest such an ideal site for this type of course is the Program for Medical Ultrasound, which was established in 1975 and is one of only two academic medical center-based ultrasound education programs in the country. In addition to its excellent facilities and those of other components of the School of Medicine’s Center for Applied Learning, the ultrasound program is noted for its many accomplishments, its affinity for innovation and its distinguished director, Frederick Kremkau, PhD.

Kremkau is one of the most respected figures in the field of medical sonography. He has worked with ultrasound technology since the late 1960s and has led the Wake Forest program since 1985. A past president of the AIUM, he is one of the most sought-after lecturers on the subject and is the author of numerous articles, chapters and the widely used textbook “Sonography Principles and Instruments,” which is in its ninth edition. He also will be on the November course’s faculty.

“Having someone of his stature cannot be overestimated,’’ Blaivas said. “His involvement in the November program will have tremendous impact. It will provide program participants access to a knowledge base that would otherwise have to be learned through trial and error over many years.’’

But the benefits don’t flow just one way.

“It’s really an ideal partnership,” said Kremkau, who has been an AIUM member since the 1970s. “The organization values the opportunity to work with us in conducting courses and regional meetings, and we benefit by being affiliated with a 10,000-member association.’’

Additional information about the November course is available online.