Point-of-care ultrasonography as a training milestone for internal medicine residents: the time is now

Document Type


Publication Title

Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives


Point-of-care (POC) ultrasonography is considered fundamental in emergency medicine training and recently has become a milestone in critical care fellowship programs as well. Currently, there is no such standard requirement for internal medicine residency programs in the United States. We present a new case and briefly review another case at our institution - a community hospital - in which internal medicine house staff trained in ultrasonography were able to uncover unexpected and critical diagnoses that significantly changed patient care and outcomes. We also review the growing evidence of the application of ultrasound in the diagnosis of a myriad of conditions encountered in general internal medicine as well as the mounting data on the ability of internal medicine residents to apply this technology accurately at the bedside. We advocate that the literature has sufficiently established the role of POC ultrasonography in general internal medicine that there should no longer be any delay in giving this an official place in the development of internal medicine trainees. This may be particularly useful in the community hospital setting where 24-h echocardiography or other sonography may not be readily available.



Publication Date

Fall 10-26-2016