Toward an ultrasound curriculum for critical care medicine

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Accurate assessment and rapid decision-making are essential to save lives and improve performance in critical care medicine. Real-time point-of-care ultrasound has become an invaluable adjunct to the clinical evaluation of critically ill and injured patients both for pre- and in-hospital situations. However, a high level of quality is necessary, guaranteed by appropriate education, experience, credentialing, quality control, continuing education, and professional development. Although educational recommendations have been proposed by a variety of nonimaging specialties, to date they are still scattered and limited examples of standards for critical and intensive care professionals. The challenge of providing adequate specialty-specific training, as encouraged by major medical societies, is made even more difficult by the diversity of critical care ultrasound utilization by various subspecialties in a variety of settings and numerous countries. In order to meet this educational challenge, a standard core curriculum is presented in this manuscript. The proposed curriculum is built on a competence, performance, and outcomes-based approach that is tailored to setting-specific training needs and prioritized according to critical problem-based pathways, rather than traditional organ-based systems. A multiple goal–oriented style fully addresses the specialty-specific approach of critical and intensive care professionals, who typically deal with disease states in complex scenarios rather than individual organ complaints. Because of the variation in the concept of what constitutes critical care worldwide, and the rate of change of information and technology, this manuscript attempts to present a learning system addressing a variety of needs for a rapidly changing world.

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