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The Curriculum


Human Body Block:

  • During the fall session of the MS-1 year students are exposed to ultrasound in conjunction with the anatomy curriculum.  The scanning sessions incorporate a novel approach to ultrasound education where clinicians and anatomists jointly teach ultrasound anatomy.
    • Session 1: Ultrasound introduction
    • Session 2: Musculoskeletal anatomy
    • Session 3: Cardio-pulmonary anatomy
    • Session 4: Abdominal anatomy
    • Session 5: Head and neck anatomy


Cardiovascular physiology:

  • During the spring session of the MS-1 year students learn the fundamentals of cardiovascular physiology using gray scale, color Doppler, and power Doppler ultrasound to demonstrate valve motion, blood flow across valves and through cardiac chambers.  Students also listen with stethoscopes while using ultrasound to better understand the cardiac cycle.​


Foundations of Doctoring:

  • During the fall session in the Foundations of Doctoring curriculum students perform focused abdominal ultrasound applications in conjunction with learning abdomen physical exam maneuvers. The ultrasound session covers focused right upper quadrant and renal ultrasound.


IDPT 6614: Clinical Ultrasound elective:

  • During the winter session of the MS-2 year students are given the opportunity to take the Clinical Ultrasound elective.  This course teaches students the fundamentals of performing  clinical ultrasound.

    • Session 1: Introduction to ultrasound
    • Session 2: FAST exam
    • Session 3: Focused abdominal ultrasound
    • Session 4: Focused cardiovascular ultrasound
    • Session 5: Ultrasound-guided procedures​


Integrated Clinicians Course 7001: SonoWars:

  • As students enter the MS-3 year, they are exposed to applications they will be learning during clinical rotations.  This occurs through a unique low-pressure contest called, “SonoWars” where teams of four students compete against each other to complete ultrasound scanning tasks, answer questions about pathology, and generally show off their ultrasound skills.​

Entire Year

Peri/Operative Care:

  • The FAST exam is included in the learning objectives for this rotation.
  • During the orientation session for this rotation a specific scanning session is devoted to learning and practicing the FAST exam.

Hospitalized Adult Care:

  • Ultrasound-guided paracentesis and thoracentesis are included in the learning objectives for this rotation.
  • A specific didactic session is devoted to students learning how to perform ultrasound-guided paracentesis and thoracentesis.  They then practice the procedure on ultrasound phantoms.

Women’s Care:

  • Performing transabdominal ultrasound to detect fetal lie, cardiac activity, and amniotic fluid index are included in the learning objectives for this rotation.
  • A specific scanning session is devoted to teaching students the technique for determining fetal lie, fetal cardiac activity, and amniotic fluid index. Students are able to practice these techniques on an ultrasound phantom.

Denver Health Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship:

  • Students who participate in the Denver Health Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship are exposed to ultrasound in the same clinical environments as other MS-3 students.
  • Specific scanning sessions are scheduled during the year that covers the FAST exam, focused cardiovascular ultrasound, transabdominal pelvic ultrasound, and ultrasound-guided procedures.


Integrated Clinicians Course 7003:

  • Ultrasound-guided procedures are included as a learning objective for this course.
  • A specific scanning session is devoted to teaching students ultrasound-guided procedures.  They are able to practice ultrasound-guided vascular access using phantoms.​

Entire Year

IDPT 8025: Clinical Ultrasound Elective:

The instructors for the ultrasound scanning sessions are clinicians from multiple specialties including emergency medicine, family practice, pediatrics, radiology, internal medicine, intensive care medicine, cardiology, interventional radiology, and surgery. This multidisciplinary approach allows students to be exposed to instructors with specific expertise in applications or areas that are included during specific scanning session. It also fosters a collaborative approach to teaching ultrasound across the CUSOM faculty.

The Director of Ultrasound Curriculum at CUSOM is John Kendall, MD.