A well-balanced degree, which produces a clinician who is capable of performing and reporting a complete and detailed cardiac echocardiogram

 THE BASICS

For doctors, run through the University of Queensland school of medicine

2 years part time.

Time cost – moderate. For those brand new to echo this is a fair bit of work to get the practical skills up and to smash that knowledge into your brain.

(Mostly) Punchy online lectures; basic physics, TTE and basic TOE images, pathology and critical care relevant sessions such as lung imaging, vascular access, fluid responsiveness and effects of ventilation.

Faculty include Bonita Anderson, an Australian leader in echocardiography education. She literally wrote the book on basic echo.  Other lecturers include Tom Marwick, Robyn Moss and Sudhir Wahi. Providing a good mix between sonographers, cardiologists and intensivists.

Weekly lecture review quiz to enforce learning and ensure consistency.

Practical scanning skills derived from performing a minimum of 150 TTE and 50 TOE scan under the guidance of a local supervisor

Reporting skills developed with reporting at least 300 standardized scans

 Assessment

  • Exams after each semester were open book multi-choice. Not very rigorous.
  • Assessment of case studies – providing good formalized feedback from someone other than your local supervisor.
  • Reviews of echo reports; one by the faculty each week and the rest of the 300 online for self assessment
  • Log book review

 Overview

This course provides a great balance of theoretical education and practical skill development.

It is the requirement of having a local supervisor that makes this course. This forces the student to develop a local network of supporters, educators and supervisors around them. Many Australian ICU’s will not have enough qualified echocardiographers and so creating a local network of sonographers and cardiologists is important not just for this course but for your scanning future.

The assessment is a bit lightweight, more of assessment for education rather than of education and I cant imagine many people failing this course. But it serves its purpose to get you to study up, make some notes and revise the lectures.

For more information have a look at the UQ website for the grad cert in echocardiography

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