Point of Care Ultrasound

Memorial University has been using point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) to teach medical students since 2016. Initially, students learned how to generate images during their clinical skills sessions.

In September 2018, PoCUS was integrated into the anatomy curriculum for students in their first year of medical school. In December 2018, Memorial University’s Faculty of Medicine purchased twelve PoCUS machines dedicated to medical education.

The class of 2022 formed the first Point of Care Ultrasound Interest Group at Memorial University led by students Pat Gallagher and Ryan Smith and supported by faculty lead Dr. Gillian Sheppard.

For inquiries about teaching or learning with PoCUS in undergraduate education at Memorial University contact Dr. Gillian Sheppard.

Postgraduate Point of Care Ultrasound

Ultrasound Guided Lines

Since 2012, Memorial University has offered an ultrasound guided lines course to postgraduate students rotating through the intensive care unit at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s. This is a three-hour introductory course on how to safely insert a central or peripheral line with ultrasound guidance.

This course gives students the opportunity to practice placing a sterile central line on a task trainer, to develop their dynamic needle-guidance skills using gel blocks, and to open and review the parts of the central line and arterial line kits. Furthermore, with the assistance of a standardized patient, students are able to learn how to landmark for peripheral access using the ultrasound.

Introductory Ultrasound Course for PGY1 Students

Memorial University has a strong postgraduate PoCUS program. In 2012, Memorial University was the first program in the country to offer a full-day multidisciplinary PoCUS course to residents entering their PGY1 training at Memorial University. The yearly course is open to trainees from the disciplines of internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, general surgery, anaesthesia and emergency medicine. The course has been accredited by CPoCUS and gives students the skills needed to pursue their Independent Practitioner (IP) status.

Introductory Course for Family Medicine Residents

In 2014, Memorial University started teaching a dedicated PoCUS Course for trainees in the Family Medicine program, making Memorial the first in the country to integrate PoCUS into the curriculum. The course equips Family Medicine residents with a CPoCUS-approved course they can use to pursue their Independent Practitioner status.

Scanning Nights

Four times a year, Emergency Medicine faculty host a two-hour dedicated scanning session for postgraduate trainees to practice scans and work toward their Independent Practitioner status.

For information about postgraduate PoCUS contact Dr. Michael Parsons.

Continuing Medical Education

Faculty development is an important part of the PoCUS program at Memorial University. The Discipline of Emergency Medicine has offered courses in basic point-of-care ultrasound skills for faculty from all disciplines in a number of settings including CME courses, EM Refresher conference PoCUS courses, and a supervised scanning session at the SRPC Rural and Remote Conference.  

Faculty members have hosted professional development opportunities on teaching anatomy with ultrasound, and have developed an instructional video for faculty on incorporating PoCUS into clinical skills sessions.


Please visit the research section of the Discipline of Emergency Medicine site for information on research related to PoCUS.