Using ultrasonography as a teaching support tool in undergraduate medical education - time to reach a decision

Petru Adrian Mircea, Radu Badea, Daniela Fodor, Anca Dana Buzoianu


Medical education and the process of teaching and learning, respectively, are constantly changing. This is induced by the pace at which knowledge, teaching methodology and its related tools are updated, the use of simulation, virtual depiction and the use of static and/or dynamic images. In this respect, X-ray images have been used in the understanding of macroanatomy ever since the beginning of the last century. Starting with the 1990s, when high-performing and relatively less costly equipment started to emerge, several experts in the field of education anticipated the huge resource that ultrasound could become in the field of medicine. The method is easy to understand, intuitive and available to anyone studying human anatomy and, subsequently, the major pathological issues during undergraduate medical studies. The present paper reviews the attempts made at using ultrasound as an educational support tool, from the first experiences in teaching anatomy (Hannover Medical School, 1996) until the recent development of an entire medical university curriculum integrating ultrasound (University of South Carolina, School of Medicine, 2006-2011). It is an exciting journey proving beyond any doubt that the method should be learned, understood and developed in medical schools from the undergraduate stage, together with the other clinical skills.


medical students; medical education; ultrasonography

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