Queen's University

Queen's medical school first in Canada to use new ultrasound technology

 
2012-10-24

Queen’s is the first university in Canada to train undergraduate medical students to use handheld, portable ultrasound machines. Professors developed the new curriculum in an effort to enhance patient care.

“The next generation of physicians are wired, gadget savvy and comfortable with technological advances,” says Amer Johri, Director, Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic Cardiology Division. “We have no doubt this technology will alter how physicians conduct physical exams, enhancing the care they provide to their communities and patients.”

Amer Johri (left) works with a group of medical students.

An ultrasound has traditionally been delivered by a large machine by highly skilled operators. The development of handheld ultrasound (HHU) devices in recent years has allowed physicians to take a limited image scan, which helps them make quicker diagnoses and speed up treatment.

“The ultrasound specialists at Queen’s University are well ahead of the curve, guiding the use of this technology and expanding it to benefit the community,” says Dr. Johri

Other university medical schools have expressed a desire to learn more about the ways Queen’s has integrated HHU training into the undergraduate medical curriculum. Dr. Johri will present information on Queen’s School of Medicine’s work with the HHU and lead a working group at the upcoming Canadian Cardiovascular Congress.

Over the last 2 years, the Cardiovascular Imaging Network at Queen’s (CINQ) has offered medical students an opportunity to acquire hand held ultrasound skills during a summer elective, during the school year as an elective and has also used the technology as a teaching tool for anatomy lessons.   Programs involving training of internal medicine residents are also underway.  This innovative approach to learning is supported by top administrators at Queen’s (Dr. Anthony Sanfilippo) and driven by enthusiastic medical students (Curtis Nickel, Thomas Cawthorn, William Reginald, and Patrick Murphy).

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