IVUSS Veterinary Ultrasound Certification Program Overview

Veterinary Ultrasound Certification Program

The IVUSS certification program is both highly challenging and rewarding.  It​ ​is​ ​designed​ ​for veterinarians​ ​who​ ​have​ ​developed​ ​an​ ​appropriate​ ​level​ ​of proficiency​ ​in​ ​abdominal​ ​and​ ​cardiac​ ​ultrasound​ to​ ​further​ ​their ​skills​ ​of​ ​sonography,​ ​image interpretation​, ​and​ ​clinical​ ​case​ ​management​ ​recommendations.  It is intended for veterinarians who utilize ultrasound as an important part of diagnostic workups on a daily basis so 1) they may reach a very high level of expertise, and 2) have credentials to reflect that expertise.  This​ ​is​ ​not​ ​a​ ​program​ ​in​ ​basic​ ​imaging​ ​skills. 

Two training tools supplement the program’s prerequisites:  the detailed presentation of 15 cases (called a “Case Book”) and testing. The first two case reports are a complete abdominal ultrasound exam and a complete echocardiogram, both done on normal patients, to demonstrate the applicant’s technique and ability.  These are reviewed by the Certification Committee, who may then require the applicant to complete additional training before further work in the program is permitted, may require adjustments to technique or thoroughness, or may permit the applicant to advance to the next 13 case reports.

The 13 cases are broken down into three categories: Basic Abdomen (4 case reports), Echocardiography (4 case reports), and Advanced Abdomen/Soft Tissue/Small Parts (5 case reports).  An IVUSS certificate holder is required to be able to perform their own scans, interpret them using proper terminology, and make appropriate medical and/or surgical recommendations.  As such, the case reports are written in a standard format of case history, imaging protocol, medical and/or surgical recommendations, follow-up verification of findings (by biopsy, surgery, etc.), and case discussion with extensive use of references. 

The Certification Committee evaluates each case report for imaging technique, medical and/or surgical recommendations, and the applicant's academic review of the case.  Once the case report receives approval from the committee it will be reviewed by a board-certified radiologist or cardiologist for final comments and approval.

After the Case Book is complete, the participant will be invited to take an online written final exam which involves ultrasound theory and practical case material.  Once passed, a timed practical exam demonstrating the applicant’s ability to do an abdominal and cardiac ultrasound exam will be scheduled remotely, or if available, for the next annual IVUSS conference.  The applicant has three years to complete the program (allowances are made based on timing of when the written exam is passed and the next meeting date).

No outside consultation or advice is allowed in this program (including help from forums such as Sonopath, Veterinary Information Network, or the like), except through the Certification Committee. We require IVUSS certification candidates to interpret their own studies when submitting their cases. Knowing one’s limitations and seeking outside help when warranted is highly respected, but any case requiring this may not be part of the Case Book for the certification process.  Any evidence of outside consultation or advice on cases or examination material will result in permanent discontinuation from the program.

Contact the certification committee at [email protected] if you have further questions not answered in these pages.  


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