Following its inaugural success, the Point of Care Ultrasound Interest Group is pleased to announce that the 2nd Annual Western Medical Student Ultrasound Symposium will be held August 23-24th, 2014 at the state of the art Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics facility in London, Ontario.


The PoCUS Symposium is a 2-day workshop series that provides medical students from across Canada with an introduction to bedside ultrasound. The weekend equips medical students with the knowledge and confidence to generate and interpret high quality ultrasound images in real clinical situations. Curriculum includes lectures from renowned ultrasound experts (see agenda below). All didactic lectures will be enhanced by opportunities for developing practical ultrasound skills, with over 10 hours of scanning time in the state-of-the-art CSTAR facility scheduled throughout the weekend. The intent of the symposium is to maximize opportunity for developing practical ultrasound competency.

Last August thirty-five students from five Canadian medical schools attended the inaugural event. The student response to the inaugural event was overwhelmingly positive. The amount of hands-on scanning time and low instructor to learner ratio has been and will continue to be a major strength of the event.

Registration is now open to medical students attending any of Canada’s 17 accredited medical schools. Students at all levels of training and experience are welcome. Check out the promotional video and continue reading below for more details on this exciting event.  We look forward to seeing you there!

What is point of care ultrasound?

Point of care ultrasonography (PoCUS) refers to ultrasonography performed and interpreted by the physician in real time at the bedside. Images provide immediate and dynamic information, permitting direct correlation with the patient’s signs and symptoms. In addition, PoCUS can be quickly repeated if the patient’s condition changes. Due to some comparable qualities to the physical exam, some authors have gone so far to call PoCUS a “visual stethoscope.”

What is the main objective of this symposium?

The primary goal of the ultrasound symposium is to equip medical students with the hands-on experiences needed to develop bedside ultrasound skills. This will be achieved via instruction from internationally recognized ultrasound experts and will be supported by state of the art facilities and ultrasound machines; live human and phantom models; and archiving software. In addition, senior medical students will play an important role in organizing the event and running workshops, making this a true student-driven education initiative.

The weekend event is jam-packed with opportunities for hands-on learning!

Symposium Agenda 

Day 1 – August 23, 2014 

TimeEvent Location
0830Registration & Light Refreshments CSTAR Lobby
0900Welcome & Program Overview Multimedia Theatre
0915Keynote Address by Dr. Robert Arntfield
Dr. Arntfield is an emergency physician, intensivist, traumatologist and an enthusiastic and passionate advocate for utilizing PoCUS in many clinical areas. As a clinician-educator, he is co-director of ED ultrasound at Western and director of critical care ultrasound at Western.
Multimedia Theatre
1000Ultrasound Fundamentals
Before launching into the many hands-on sessions, students will participate in an interactive discussion on the fundamentals of ultrasound; including principles governing transducer function and image generation. This session provides students with a theoretical framework with which to approach the rest of the weekend.
Multimedia Theatre
1100Cardiac Ultrasound
Through practice on standardized patients, students will gain an approach to the different views of cardiac examination and gain a visual perspective on cardiovascular anatomy and pathophysiology. In particular, students will appreciate how cardiac ultrasound can help achieve focused clinical goals, including assessment for pericardial effusion, global cardiac function and intravascular volume status.    
Skills Lab
1230Lunch CSTAR Lobby
1330Lung Ultrasound
During this session, students will be introduced to the principles behind lung ultrasound and will gain practice using ultrasound in their pulmonary evaluation. This will include instruction on how to identify a pneumothorax, alveolar and interstitial edema, and pleural effusion.
Skills Lab
1430Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma
FAST is a non-invasive and critically important bedside assessment tool for timely diagnosis of life-threatening conditions, particularly in the setting of trauma. Led by experienced emergency physicians and trauma surgeons, students will learn a systematic approach to detecting “hidden” bleeding within the abdominal cavity or around the heart.
Skills Lab
1530Focused Obstetrical & Gynecological Ultrasound
Students will learn to appreciate sonographic obstetrical and gynecological anatomy.  Findings of early pregnancy and free fluid in the female pelvis will be discussed.  In addition, students will have an opportunity to perform transabdominal scans on live models as well as practice transvaginal ultrasound on phantom models.
Skills Lab
1630Free Scanning Time Skills Lab
1700End of Day 1CSTAR Lobby
1930Social Event
Further details to follow.

Day 2 – August 24, 2013 

0830Registration & Light Refreshments CSTAR Lobby
0900Ultrasound in Medical Education Multimedia Theatre
0930Aorta, Hepatobiliary & Renal Ultrasound
During this session, students will be introduced to the role of ultrasound in the examination of the abdominal aorta, gallbladder and kidney. Focus will be on the specific clinical applications of this exam and will include instruction on how to identify an abdominal aortic aneurysm, hydronephrosis, and sonographic signs of acute cholecystitis.
Skills Lab
1100Procedural Ultrasound
Students will appreciate the use of ultrasound guidance in reducing complications of commonly performed procedures that traditionally rely on superficial anatomic landmarks. Hands-on experience will include ultrasound-guided central line placement and delivery of regional anesthesia.
Skills Lab 
1300Lunch CSTAR Lobby
1400The POCUS Games
An afternoon of fun and competition. Students will form alliances in competition for the elusive Western SonoCup! Put your new found sonography skills to the test as you race against other teams to solve cases, scan patients and perform procedures.  While only one team can win, all students will have the opportunity to self-scan and archive images of their own internal organs to bring home as “sono-venirs”.
Skills Lab
1630Closing RemarksMultimedia Theatre
1645End of Day 2CSTAR Lobby

Registration Now Open!

If you would like to promote this event to students at your institution, feel free to use our promotional poster, or provide the link to this page.

Promotional Offer: Register by June 2, 2014 and you will automatically be entered for a chance to win free registration (value $329)! In addition, each of the following will provide an additional entry into this competition:

1)   Join the Point of Care Ultrasound Interest Group (Western students only)! Existing interest group members will receive automatic entry.

2)   Follow Western Sono on Twitter! Existing followers will receive automatic entry.

3)   Like Western Sono on Facebook! Facebook followers will receive automatic entry.

Draw held on August 24, 2014. Credit card used for online payment will be refunded.