By Daniel Theodoro, MD, FACEP
It’s heating up outside which means that emergency medicine residency training programs hit the refresh button and welcome new trainees and recent graduates now join us as colleagues. This makes this issue’s “ask the expert” topic on maximizing ultrasound education particularly salient. Plus, nothing says, “you can do this with your eyes wide shut” like optic nerve sheath diameter measurements for diagnosing increased intracranial pressure. Once again, this newsletter serves as evidence for emergency physicians not only mastering focused imaging modalities such as pelvic ultrasound but also pushing the limits of sonography to fill unmet needs such as marking needle entry sites in difficult to obtain lumbar punctures. Articles on TEE during cardiac arrest speak volumes about how highly trained emergency physician sonographers can perform echocardiography to complement patient care. At the end of the newsletter you’ll notice an update from our Advanced Practice Provider subcommittee. This year we’ve worked together to create language surrounding how APPs should integrate into EUS practice. Our goal is to create another supportive policy statement to guide our colleagues through difficult conversations with their institutions and to encompass all the major issues that may arise.
The march towards developing a designation of a “Focused Practice Designation” (FPD) –formerly referred to as designation of focused practice (DFP) continues to evolve with ACEP EUS member participation. In the near future section members with deep experience will be asked to serve on the Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship Accreditation Committee (EUFAC) along with co-members from other EM organizations with the intent of creating a pathway to assure high quality EUS fellowships. Graduates of accredited fellowships will be candidates for obtaining FPD status. The vast majority of physicians who graduated from non-accredited fellowships in the past will have to follow practice-based pathways. Look to the newsletter to continue to provide updates.
Lastly, another word on credentialing and accreditation. Be aware of outside organization’s desire to provide an EM POCUS merit badge. The roots of POCUS begin with emergency medicine and, with an extensive library of documents on training, certification, and accreditation, ACEP and the EUS fills the necessary space for EM POCUS providers. At our local Missouri ACEP leadership summit I was asked to speak on how to start an ultrasound program to enhance care. I could basically sum up the talk by saying, “Go to the ACEP Emergency Ultrasound Section’s (EUS) website and download what you need” because everything is there. From documents that define scope of practice to guidelines that map credentialing pathways the EUS webpage paves the path for EPs to practice high quality ultrasound when our patients need it most. Accredit your program using ACEP’s Clinical Ultrasound Accreditation Program (CUAP) and continue to project high quality care and build trust among your colleagues. Remember that connected care is great care!
See you in Denver, CO on October 27 for the EUS section meeting!
EUS Section Chair