Clinical Advisor (10/05/2022) Miles, Dana S.
Most physician assistant (PA) training programs lack a point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) component, writes Dana S. Miles, DMSc (candidate), MS, PA-C, CAQ-EM, at the A.T. Still University-Arizona School of Health Sciences. "It is debatable whether POCUS should be added at the training level, as a postgraduate fellowship, or as continuing medical education (CME)," she notes. Miles cites a curriculum based on standards from various societies, medical institutions and residency programs highlighting POCUS competencies. "By reducing the scope and number of skills to be taught, PA students have a better chance of learning a focused list of POCUS skills that can be incorporated through the didactic year and then a focused list of required scans in the clinical year," she suggests. Miles cites a lack of faculty expertise and cost as additional hindrances to POCUS' inclusion in PA training. The National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants does not mandate learning POCUS for initial PA certification or the Certificate of Added Qualification. Miles concludes, "Although adding skills to the PA repertoire (especially new graduates) has added value and makes them more marketable to employers, the current barriers to POCUS training suggest that postgraduate CME or fellowship may be the best option for PAs entering a specialty that uses POCUS."