Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Irvine

UC Irvine Previously Published Works bannerUC Irvine

Integration of Ultrasound in Medical Education at United States Medical Schools: A National Survey of Directors' Experiences.



Despite the rise of ultrasound in medical education (USMED), multiple barriers impede the implementation of such curricula in medical schools. No studies to date have surveyed individuals who are successfully championing USMED programs. This study aimed to investigate the experiences with ultrasound integration as perceived by active USMED directors across the United States.


In 2014, all allopathic and osteopathic medical schools in the United States were contacted regarding their status with ultrasound education. For schools with required point-of-care ultrasound curricula, we identified the USMED directors in charge of the ultrasound programs and sent them a 27-question survey. The survey included background information about the directors, ultrasound program details, the barriers directors faced toward implementation, and the directors' attitudes toward ultrasound education.


One-hundred seventy-three medical schools were contacted, and 48 (27.7%) reported having a formal USMED curriculum. Thirty-six USMED directors responded to the survey. The average number of years of USMED curriculum integration was 2.8 years (SD, 2.9). Mandatory ultrasound curricula had most commonly been implemented into years 1 and 2 of medical school (71.4% and 62.9%, respectively). The most common barriers faced by these directors when implementing their ultrasound programs were the lack of funding for faculty/ equipment (52.9%) and lack of time in current medical curricula (50.0%).


Financial commitments and the full schedules of medical schools are the current prevailing roadblocks to implementation of ultrasound education. Experiences drawn from current USMED directors in this study may be used to help programs starting their own curricula.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View