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POCUS Certificate of Completion

Program Requirements

This program offers a comprehensive, hands-on experience to learn the fundamentals of point-of-care ultrasound. Take individual courses or earn the SHM-Chest Point-of-Care Ultrasound Certificate of Completion (COC).

All program requirements must be completed within 3 years of starting the program. The requirements are listed in the recommended order of completion. Portfolio images must be generated and collected personally after attending one of the live courses.

COVID-19 Notice to Learners:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many point-of-care ultrasound training courses have been temporarily canceled, including the fall 2020 Chest ultrasound courses and approved regional courses.  In lieu of requirements 1 and 3 listed below, CME certificates from live or virtual POCUS CME courses that include hands-on training may be accepted. Only credit from accredited CME courses will be accepted. This alternative option will be available through 2021.  If you are interested in this alternative option, please fill out this form.

1. Attend Ultrasonography: Essentials in Critical Care

During this course, you will review key elements of point-of-care ultrasonography and practice image acquisition on human models. The course offers review of ultrasound images demonstrating normal and pathologic findings for a unique and complete learning opportunity. This course is offered three times per year at the Chest Simulation center in Glenview, Illinois.

View available course dates.

*Member Benefit* SHM members receive special pricing on this course. Contact us for your unique discount code.

2. Complete Online Learning Modules: Bedside Ultrasound in Critical Care by CAE Healthcare

Supplement, strengthen and refine your ultrasound coursework. Designed by frontline physician experts in ultrasonography, these interactive, multimedia e-learning tutorials review essential components of point-of-care ultrasound. Purchase in CHEST’s Online Store.

3. Attend an Approved 2-Day POCUS Course

Reinforce and refine your skills by attending one of these approved regional 2-day courses.

  1. New York Point-of-Care Ultrasound Course - New York, NY (June – offered annually)
  2. CHEST: Integration into Clinical Practice course – Chicago, IL (November – offered annually)
  3. Hospital Medicine Point-of-Care Ultrasonography – New York, NY (February & July – offered biannually)
  4. Point-of-Care Ultrasound Workshop – San Antonio, TX (February – offered annually)
  5. The Rocky Mountain Society of Hospital Medicine Point-of-Care Ultrasound Course – Denver, CO (March & May – offered biannually)
  6. Point-of-Care Ultrasound Course (SHM Minnesota Chapter-Sponsored) – Minneapolis, MN (September - offered annually)
  7. Point-of-Care Ultrasound for the Hospitalist – UCSF – San Francisco, CA (October – offered annually)

4. Complete Online Portfolio

After completion of one of the live ultrasound courses, you are eligible to enroll in the portfolio. The online portfolio requires submission of ultrasound video clips for review by faculty. Access to the portfolio will only be granted after completing a live course.

A key element to training in point-of-care ultrasonography is bedside scanning practice. To foster self-directed learning, you will be required to assemble a portfolio of specific images to be reviewed and approved by a faculty member via the internet. Expect a productive educational experience that will foster ongoing scanning practice and yield high-quality image acquisition. You will need to have access to an ultrasound machine with image storage capability. Images should be recorded and exported directly from an ultrasound machine to the online portfolio.

The emphasis for portfolio development will be on image quality. While specific examples of disease are not required, with the exception of lung and pleural images, abnormal images are welcome. You may submit all normal images. If you will be teaching point-of-care ultrasound to other providers, consider developing your own teaching file, and this portfolio can start that process. 

Access the online portfolio.

5. Pass a Comprehensive Skills and Knowledge Assessment

All previous requirements must be met before taking the final written and hands-on assessment. Opportunities to complete the final assessments are offered during the SHM Annual Conference and approved regional POCUS courses. CME credit is not offered for the portfolio or the final assessment.

Participants are required to complete all 5 components of the COC program within 3 years.


Frequently Asked Questions

Who can achieve a Certificate of Completion?

The Point-of-care Ultrasound Certificate of Completion is designed for all healthcare providers interested in improving their bedside ultrasound skills. The program is geared primarily toward providers that care for acutely ill patients, including hospitalists, internal medicine or family medicine physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

For more information, contact SHM.

What are the image portfolio requirements?

Cardiac Images (20 studies with the following views per study)

  1. Parasternal long-axis view
  2. Parasternal short-axis view at the mid-ventricle/papillary level
  3. Apical four-chamber view
  4. Subcostal 4-chamber view
  5. Inferior vena cava longitudinal view

Lung & Pleural Images (5 studies with the following image views per study)

  1. Normal sliding with A-lines
  2. Consolidation (with high suspicion for pneumonia)
  3. Pleural effusion
  4. B-lines (minimum of 1 B-line)

Abdominal Images (5 studies with the following image views per study)

  1. Right kidney longitudinal view with hepatorenal recess
  2. Left kidney longitudinal view with splenorenal space
  3. Abdominal aorta transverse view
  4. Abdominal aorta longitudinal view
  5. Bladder transverse view
  6. Bladder longitudinal view
  7. Ascites in right or left lower quadrant

Lower extremity DVT Images (5 studies with the following views per study)
All images should be acquired in a transverse orientation and demonstrate compression at each level.

  1. Right common femoral vein
  2. Right common femoral vein – Greater saphenous vein junction
  3. Right femoral vein (superficial) – Deep femoral vein junction
  4. Right mid-/distal femoral vein (superficial)
  5. Right popliteal vein
  6. Left common femoral vein
  7. Left common femoral vein – Greater saphenous vein junction
  8. Left femoral vein (superficial) – Deep femoral vein junction
  9. Left mid-/distal femoral vein (superficial)
  10. Left popliteal vein

Skin & Soft Tissue Images (2 studies with the following image views per study)

  1. Normal skin and subcutaneous tissue (thigh or abdominal wall)
  2. Subcutaneous edema ("cobblestoning")

POCUS Steering Committee

The SHM POCUS Steering Committee is responsible for developing and maintaining the standards for the Certificate of Completion.

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Acquiring the skills and ability to apply POCUS within internal medicine is increasingly important, and there is no better opportunity to grow than learning from the comprehensive curriculum and expert clinicians involved in the SHM COC.

Thomas Robertson, MD

COC has been instrumental in not only initiating my journey to being a content expert, but also introduced me to world class faculty, network/collaborate with regional POCUS enthusiasts, teach POCUS at our residency program and pilot POCUS curriculum development at our organization. Additionally, for my department the certificate can be testament of my attendance in this rigorous curriculum.

Amteshwar Singh, MD, FACP

I finished the SHM Certificate of Completion to ensure I could be an independent POCUS educator in my institution. Since completion I have been promoted as a trainer, and I feel confident integrating POCUS into nearly every day of my practice.

Max Diddams