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Pharmacy & Health Sciences Building
PA Program

PA Alumni Connection

Physician Assistant Ultrasound machine

Issue 5—Summer 2017

This is the PA Alumni Connection, online! We are excited to share the latest PA Program happenings, and provide a place for our valued alums to stay connected, no matter where you are.

Currently, ultrasound is fully integrated into the curricula of more than 20 medical schools across the United States and only three PA Programs. We are adding to that PA Program number.

Our PA Program is excited to announce this curriculum advancement with the use of technology that promotes greater application. We worked with SonoSite to purchase four systems including both the M-Turbo and EDGE-II ultrasounds.

The goal of our program is to begin teaching ultrasound applications during semester one and longitudinally incorporate the learning throughout the two years. Not only will this occur in our imaging course, but also in classes like anatomy and physiology, procedures, and history and physical exam. They all will eventually have ultrasound components that complement traditional learning. It will take some time to fully develop this plan but teaching and learning has already started. 

For example, ultrasound can complement physiology lectures by allowing the student to witness the relationship between the IVC and the cardiac cycle, JVD, and Valsalva maneuvers. Ultrasound can be used as an extension of the physical exam where things like liver and spleen size and diaphragmatic excursion can be evaluated, and lymph nodes and cysts can be seen and not just palpated through the skin. 

While our students will not be certified in ultrasonography upon graduation, they will have significant exposure that graduates can continue to build upon as they enter clinical practice. 

As alumni you know ultrasound is a risk-free tool that enhances our diagnostic capabilities and reduces procedural risk. Ultrasound use is becoming ubiquitous even in areas not associated with critical care and invasive procedures. We are excited and hope to offer workshops utilizing our ultrasound machines for to graduates as well.