Getting It Right the First Time: Defining Regionally Relevant Training Curricula and Provider Core Competencies for Point-of-Care Ultrasound Education on the African Continent

Document Type



Emergency Medicine (East Africa)


Significant evidence identifies point-of-care ultrasound (PoCUS) as an important diagnostic and therapeutic tool in resource-limited settings. Despite this evidence, local health care providers on the African continent continue to have limited access to and use of ultrasound, even in potentially high-impact fields such as obstetrics and trauma. Dedicated postgraduate emergency medicine residency training programs now exist in 8 countries, yet no current consensus exists in regard to core PoCUS competencies. The current practice of transferring resource-rich PoCUS curricula and delivery methods to resource-limited health systems fails to acknowledge the unique challenges, needs, and disease burdens of recipient systems. As emergency medicine leaders from 8 African countries, we introduce a practical algorithmic approach, based on the local epidemiology and resource constraints, to curriculum development and implementation. We describe an organizational structure composed of nexus learning centers for PoCUS learners and champions on the continent to keep credentialing rigorous and standardized. Finally, we put forth 5 key strategic considerations: to link training programs to hospital systems, to prioritize longitudinal learning models, to share resources to promote health equity, to maximize access, and to develop a regional consensus on training standards and credentialing.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Annals of Emergency Medicine