CUSOM Is Among Medical Education Leaders Using Ultrasound

BUIES CREEK –The Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine at Campbell University (CUSOM) is among the first osteopathic medical schools in the country to incorporate ultrasound training into the first two years of the medical student curriculum.
Dr. Andrew Martin, DO, Director of Sports Medicine, and Dr. Francine Anderson, PT, PhD knew integrating ultrasound into the medical school’s curriculum would be an invaluable asset during the planning for the school’s opening in 2013.  “My experience and training with diagnostic ultrasound has revolutionized the way I practice medicine and has become a standard tool in Sports Medicine.  In fact, there are very few areas of medicine where ultrasound is not being utilized,” said Martin.  “In order to best prepare our students for a future career in medicine, incorporating ultrasound into the CUSOM curriculum is vital to our students’ success.” said Dr. Martin.
 “Ultrasound facilitates the students connecting physiology and anatomy training in a dynamic way,” says Dr. Greg Christiansen, Chair and Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine.  “Students traditionally are taught organs in specific, static locations, but, in reality, organs move.  Learning functional anatomy translates into understanding dynamic physiology. Ultrasound brings to life a curriculum that has traditionally been based on static models and allows the student to use the senses more fully while learning.   For example, in examining the heart, students can utilize their sight, sound, and palpation skills while at the same time perform calculations for cardiac output.”
“Being a good anatomist – having the ability to picture many structures inside the human body and understanding their orientation and function – is one of the cornerstones of being a good physician,” shared first year medical student Karla Candelaria.  “Because ultrasound gives us the ability to look inside the human body, it provides the ultimate learning experience. Our ultrasound course has allowed me the opportunity to unite my academic knowledge with my clinical skills, thoroughly preparing me for real-world medicine.”
 Students will have multiple sessions each year.   Each block has dedicated ultrasound laboratory time and the faculty are establishing increasing opportunities to support the students’ education in regards to skills such as IV’s, central lines, diagnostics, abdominal analysis, cardiac, respiratory, and ocular examinations.  “The goal is by the end of the second year of medical school, their clinical knowledge will be infused with the practical application of ultrasound,” said Dr. Christiansen.
Ultrasound is a safe and a relatively inexpensive diagnostic tool compared to CT or MRI scanning.  Increasing ultrasound availability and use could have an immediate impact on improving the health of a community.  “Ultrasound is a point of care test in real time – a test that can be offered immediately and conveniently to the patient.  There is no waiting for results or even sending patients to a different site for interpretation of results,” said Christiansen.
 Ultrasound technology improves diagnostic accuracy of many conditions like heart disease, abdominal pain, and even eye injuries. Dr. Christiansen went on to explain, “From an osteopathic perspective, ultrasound is invaluable to understanding and treating musculoskeletal injuries and painful conditions.”
Medical education is rapidly advancing to meet the challenges of providing more efficient and personal patient care, and Campbell is training the medical students of today to be the doctors of tomorrow – highly skilled physicians who readily adapt to future medical technology. 
“It’s exciting for CUSOM, a new medical school, to be among the national leaders with ultrasound curriculum integration – we now have other programs coming to us as they plan to integrate it into their curriculum,” said Christiansen.
In addition to its educational use in the medical school curriculum, Campbell also incorporates ultrasound at the advanced levels of training in its Sports Medicine Fellowship.  “As diagnostic ultrasound has become a standard in Sports Medicine, it is vital to both attracting and training well qualified Physicians.  We start ultrasound education early on in our fellowship training so as our fellows complete the Sports Medicine Fellowship, they have a level of competence that will allow them to be credentialed to use ultrasound in their practice of Sports Medicine in the future,” explained Dr. Martin, Director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship at Campbell.
The Campbell medical faculty participating in the ultrasound curriculum include: Dr. Francine Anderson (Anatomy), Dr. Robert Terreberry (Anatomy), Dr. Bruce Newton (Anatomy), Dr. Oleg Alekseev (Anatomy), Dr. Greg Christiansen (Emergency Medicine), Dr. Michelle Langaker (OB/GYN), Dr. Andrew Martin (Sports Medicine), Dr. William Morris (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine), and Dr. Tom Motyka (Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine).