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


UC San Francisco Previously Published Works bannerUCSF

Teaching point of care ultrasound skills in medical school: keeping radiology in the driver's seat.


Rationale and objectives

Ultrasound is used increasingly in medical practice as a tool for focused bedside diagnosis and technical assistance during procedures. Widespread availability of small portable units has put this technology into the hands of many physicians and medical students who lack dedicated training, leaving the education and introduction of this key modality increasingly to physicians from other specialties. We developed a radiology-led program to teach ultrasound skills to preclinical medical students.

Materials and methods

To develop this new ultrasound program we 1) established a program leader, 2) developed teaching materials, 3) created a hands-on interactive program, and 4) recruited the necessary instructors. The program was piloted with the first-year medical student class of 154 students. The introductory session was assessed by pre- and post-activity Likert scale-based surveys.


Of 154 (68.8%) students, 106 completed a voluntary online survey before starting the program and 145 students (94.2%) completed a voluntary survey after the session. Students found the program educationally valuable (4.64 of 5) and reported that it improved their understanding of ultrasound imaging (4.7 of 5). Students' reported confidence in identifying abdominal organs, intra-abdominal fluid, and Morison pouch that was significantly higher on the postactivity survey compared to the presurvey (P < .001 for all).


We piloted a radiology-led program to teach ultrasound skills to preclinical medical students. Students found the experience enjoyable and educationally valuable.

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