Veterinary Ultrasound Certification Program


The goal of this program to provide a structured training environment that allows a small animal veterinarian to reach a defined level of ultrasonography expertise. Veterinarians who are utilizing ultrasound as an integral part of diagnostic work ups on a daily basis and desire credentials to reflect their expertise are especially suited. The credentialing and examination process necessary for IVUSS certification program is both highly challenging and rewarding.

The program combines the traditional short courses listed below with two additional training tools. The first is the requirement for presentation of casebooks in 1) Basic Abdomen, 2) Echocardiography and 3) Advanced Abdomen / Soft Tissue / Small Parts. Participants will be required to submit a casebook of 15 cases. A standardized format of case description, imaging protocol, follow-up verification, case discussion with extensive use of references will be followed. After completion of all short course training and acceptance of their casebook, the participant will take an online written final exam, involving practical case material, and a practical exam to be taken at the annual meeting.

No outside consultation or advice is acceptable. We require IVUSS certification candidates to interpret their own studies when submitting their cases.  An IVUSS certificate holder is able to perform their own scans, interpret them using proper terminology, and make correct recommendations.  Knowing one’s limitations and seeking outside help when warranted is highly respected, but any case requiring this should not be part of the casebook for the certification process.   The same policy applies to use of forums such as Sonopath, Veterinary Information Network, or the like.

Program Overview

Prerequisites:

  • DVM, VMD, or equivalent degree.
  • Member in good standing of IVUSS for the duration of the program.
  • At least 3 years of documentable ultrasound experience in veterinary practice with a minimum average caseload of > 20 cases/month.
  • Active state/national licensure to practice veterinary medicine
  • Ultrasound system in the practice
    • 5.0 to 7.5 MHz small footprint transducer minimum
    • Linear Probe (optional)
    • Phased Array Probe with CF,PW,CW Doppler capabilities
    • B- and M-mode
  • Three didactic and laboratory courses must be completed prior to acceptance into the program. These courses are not provided by IVUSS but must be completed independently.
    • Basic Abdomen
    • Advanced Echocardiography covering CF PW and CW Doppler, with proper adjustment capacity, interpretation and clear understanding/working knowledge of the concepts.
    • Advanced Abdominal/Soft Tissue/Small Parts
    • Didactic training occurs with the following in the United States: Sound, Universal Ultrasound, WAVE, Oquendo at WVC (for abdomens), and Sonopath.
    • In Europe and Asia: The European School for Advanced Veterinary Studies (ESAVS).  
      Hong Kong Mobile Ultrasound Service (in Hong Kong, Singapore and Mainland China) .

There are numerous other courses at other organizations, these are the most commonly attended by certification candidates. It would be ideal to check with the IVUSS Certification Committee if you are about to take courses from institutions that are not listed here.

Basic Abdomen

    • Instructor
      • ACVR diplomate
      • Or other expert as evidenced by both:
        • publication record
        • acknowledged teaching and technical expertise
    • Didactic Content must include:
      • Principles of Ultrasound
        • Beam formation
        • Resolution
      • Interaction with tissues
      • Transducer types
      • Artifacts
        • Types
        • Principles of formation
        • Means of avoidance
        • Clinical diagnostic value
      • Scanning nomenclature
        • Nomenclature of transducer movements
        • Scan planes
        • Patient scanning methodology
      • Organ Systems
        • Liver & Gall Bladder
        • Spleen
        • Kidneys & Urinary Bladder
        • Genital Tract
          • Female tract: ovaries, uterus
          • Male tract: prostate, testicles
  • Topics for each organ
    • Location
    • How to image
    • Normal appearance
    • Appearance of disease
    • Case discussion
  • Biopsy
    • Basic principles
    • Indications & contraindications
  • Laboratory Content (times provided are an approximate minimum per person)
    • General scanning technique (15 minutes)
    • Nomenclature of transducer movements
    • Scan planes
    • Organ Systems
      • Liver & Gall Bladder (30 minutes)
        • How to image
        • Normal appearance
      • Kidneys & Urinary Bladder (30 minutes)
        • How to image
        • Normal appearance

Echocardiography

  • Instructor
    • ACVIM diplomate (Internal Medicine or Cardiology)
    • Or other expert as evidenced by both:
      • publication record
      • acknowledged teaching and technical expertise
  • Didactic Content must include:
    • Scanning Nomenclature
    • Scan planes
    • Patient scanning methodology
    • M-mode quantification
    • Cardiac nomenclature
    • Cursor placement
    • Leading edge methodology
    • CF/PW/CW Doppler instruction
    • Velocity Measurement
    • Pressure Gradients
    • Interpretation of abnormalities
      • Determination of Diastolic Dysfunction
      • Congenital diseases
        • Pressure overload
        • Volume overload
      • Acquired diseases
        • Primary myocardial
        • Primary valvular
        • Secondary myocardial
        • Cor pulmonale
        • Neoplasia
        • Pericardial Disease
        • Case studies
  • Laboratory Content
    • Content (times provided are an approximate minimum per person)
    • General scanning technique (30 minutes)
      • Nomenclature of transducer movements
      • Scan planes
      • Left apical
      • Left parasternal long axis and modified long axis
    • Structure identification
    • Measurement techniques (45 minutes)
      • RV/LV view
      • Mitral valve view
      • LA/Ao view

Advanced Abdomen/Soft Tissue

    • Instructor
      • ACVR diplomate
      • Or other expert as evidenced by both:
        • publication record
        • acknowledged teaching and technical expertise
    • Didactic Content must include:
      • Advanced Principles of Ultrasound
        • Digital versus Analog beam formers
        • Doppler
        • Advanced beam steering
        • Contrast
      • Organ Systems
          • Abdominal Vasculature
          • Abdominal Lymph Nodes
          • Pancreas
          • Adrenals
          • Gastrointestinal Tract
          • Stomach, duodenum, ileocolic junction
          • Sublumbar region
  • Lymph nodes, colon, vertebra
        • Neck
          • Thyroid, parathyroid & salivary glands
        • Musculoskeletal
        • Thorax
        • Topics for each organ system
          • Location
          • How to image
          • Normal appearance
          • Appearance of disease
          • Case discussion
          • Advanced Biopsy
    • Laboratory Content (times provided are an approximate minimum per person)
      • General scanning technique (15 minutes)
      • Nomenclature of transducer movements
      • Scan planes
      • Organ Systems
        • How to image
        • Normal appearance
        • Pancreas (20 minutes)
        • Adrenals (15 minutes)
        • Gastrointestinal tract (20 minutes)
        • Sublumbar region (5 minutes)

 

  • Alternative methods of covering the didactic material will be considered, including on-line.
  • All laboratory topics must be hands-on with designated instructor

IVUSS​ ​Certificate​ ​Application​ ​process

The​ ​IVUSS​ ​Certification​ ​Program​ ​is​ ​designed​ ​to​ ​further​ ​your​ ​skills​ ​of​ ​sonography,​ ​image interpretation​ ​and​ ​clinical​ ​case​ ​management​ ​recommendations. This​ ​is​ ​not​ ​a​ ​program​ ​in​ ​basic​ ​imaging​ ​skills.

The​ ​certification​ ​process​ i​ s​ ​recommended​ ​for​ ​those​ ​who​ ​have​ ​developed​ ​an​ ​appropriate​ ​level​ ​of proficiency​ ​in​ ​abdominal​ ​and​ ​cardiac​ ​ultrasound​ ​and​ ​seek​ ​to​ ​improve​ ​their​ ​understanding​ ​and proficiency​ ​further.​ ​In​ ​order​ ​for​ ​an​ ​applicant​ ​to​ ​qualify​ ​for​ ​the​ ​IVUSS​ ​Certification​ ​process,​ ​we require​ ​that​ ​the​ ​applicant​ ​submit​ ​some​ ​of​ ​their​ ​own​ ​imaging​ ​work​ ​as​ ​a​ ​means​ ​for​ ​us​ ​to​ ​assess your​ ​proficiency​ ​level​ ​before​ ​you​ ​enroll.

Step​ ​one​ ​is​ ​the​ ​initial​ ​candidate​ ​enrollment​ ​form.​ ​​ ​Once​ ​the​ ​enrollment​ ​form​ ​has​ ​been completed,​ ​we​ ​will​ ​be​ ​reviewing​ ​the​ ​applicant’s​ ​didactic​ ​training​ ​coursework​ ​and​ ​equipment set-up.​ ​​ ​Then​ ​we​ ​will​ ​be​ ​contacting​ ​you​ ​about​ ​the​ ​next​ ​step​ ​in​ ​the​ ​application​ ​process.

This​ ​includes

1. You​ ​will​ ​receive​ ​an​ ​invoice​ ​for​ ​a​ ​non-refundable​ ​application​ ​fee.
2. Once​ ​your​ ​invoice​ ​is​ ​paid,​ ​we​ ​will​ ​be​ ​contacting​ ​you​ ​about​ ​submission​ ​of​ ​an​ ​initial​ ​set​ ​of 2​ ​cases​ ​which​ ​are​ ​to​ ​be​ ​reviewed​ ​by​ ​the​ ​Certification​ ​Committee.

a. A​ ​normal​ ​abdominal​ ​ultrasound​ ​in​ ​the​ ​format​ ​of​ ​the​ ​two​ ​cases​ ​on​ ​the​ ​web​ ​site.
b. A​ ​normal​ ​echocardiogram​ ​case​ ​in​ ​the​ ​format​ ​of​ ​the​ ​two​ ​cases​ ​on​ ​the​ ​web​ ​site.

These​ ​cases​ ​should​ ​be​ ​the​ ​work​ ​of​ ​the​ ​applicant.​ ​​ ​They​ ​should​ ​be​ ​submitted​ ​as​ ​a​ ​pair.​ ​​ ​If​ ​the cases​ ​are​ ​approved,​ ​then​ ​they​ ​can​ ​be​ ​included​ ​as​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​applicant’s​ ​Certificate​ ​program casebook.

 

Casebook Guidelines

Each case submitted for the casebook should list the following:

1) Candidate’s name
2) Patient’s name
3) Case #, Category (eg. case #3, basic abdomen)
4) Date of original submission

The format for each case should reflect how you perform an exam. Date of exam, name of patient and facility should be on all images.

Each case should be presented as a scientific paper suitable for publication in any veterinary journal, with all images of your exam to reflect your thoroughness, your interpretation to reflect your knowledge and ability to communicate your findings and thought processes, and all supported with appropriate references. If the case presentation looks more like the patient’s record than a scientific article, it will not be accepted.

Evaluation of casebooks are scrupulously based on criteria represented here. If that criteria is not followed, the casebooks will not be accepted. That said, if an image of a certain small part (lymph node, adrenal, pancreas, vessel, duct, ureter, etc) is not obtained, the region should be scanned carefully with a captured image representing that region, with an explanation of the process/search.

A casebook of 15 clinical cases will be prepared by each participant.
5 Cases for each topic covered in short the course requirements of:

1) basic abdomen
2) advanced abdomen/soft tissue/small parts
3) echocardiography
One “normal” case will be accepted for basic abdomen and echocardiography.

Click here for an Abdominal Casebook Example

Click here for an Echocardiography Casebook Example