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PoCUS course and other certifications


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I'm a medical student in my last year of medical school. I would like to do courses in PoCUS, ATLS and other EM related topics, but I see that they're pretty expensive. If I wait until residency (in family medicine) to do them, do universities reimburse part of the cost?

Thanks

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In my family medicine residency program, ACLS, ATLS, and NRP were mandatory. As such, the course fees were reimbursed.

ALARM and PALS were optional and therefore not reimbursed. However, we were given a "spending account" which could be used for courses, textbooks, etc. Some people used it for the optional courses.

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8 minutes ago, Wachaa said:

In my family medicine residency program, ACLS, ATLS, and NRP were mandatory. As such, the course fees were reimbursed.

ALARM and PALS were optional and therefore not reimbursed. However, we were given a "spending account" which could be used for courses, textbooks, etc. Some people used it for the optional courses.

Knowing that, do you think that having my ACLS/ATLS/NRP certification earlier would help me in any way for my residency? (considering I might apply in the CCFP-EM program) 

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7 hours ago, dalenevi said:

Knowing that, do you think that having my ACLS/ATLS/NRP certification earlier would help me in any way for my residency? (considering I might apply in the CCFP-EM program) 

ACLS is mandatory for residency so yes I would say so. Schools across Canada will reimburse you for an ACLS course, but may not do so if you apply and complete it too early before residency. 

In my FM program we get NRP and ALARM taught to us but would have to do PALS and ATLS on our own dime. We get $800 of funding to cover outside courses but lets be honest, that doesn't get you very far. Doing a PoCUS course will set you back another $1500 if you do the first level

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I don’t think there’s a tonne of value in doing the courses before residency. It won’t make much (any) difference to you matching, especially to family.

ACLS is covered in residency, and as others mentioned other courses may also be covered, but you generally have to wait for residency to do them. We got ACLS covered only if done in the few months before residency started, and everything else only after start date.

If doing these courses is important to you, then ask about them when looking at family medicine sites - my program covers ACLS, ATLS, PALS, yearly BLS renewal, NRP and CASTED, and the rural residents in our program also get the one day EDE POCUS course. 

Ultrasound is increasingly covered by programs if you do the FM-EM+1. EDE is $1500-2000, and if you want to be certified it is an enormous amount of work on top of that to get scans - many people end up doing bootcamps to get their scans, and that’s more like $4000+, which again some EM+1 programs are now covering. I’d recommend self-study and practicing when you’re in the ED for now, and then consider courses once you know where you are going and what your program provides. Check out the CPOCUS website - the video curriculum is very well done, and membership for non-certified member is very cheap. 

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30 minutes ago, frenchpress said:

I don’t think there’s a tonne of value in doing the courses before residency. It won’t make much (any) difference to you matching, especially to family.

ACLS is covered in residency, and as others mentioned other courses may also be covered, but you have to wait for residency to do them.

If doing these courses is important to you, then ask about them when looking at family medicine sites - my program covers ACLS, ATLS, PALS, yearly BLS renewal, NRP and CASTED, and the rural residents in our program also get the one day EDE POCUS course. 

Ultrasound is increasingly covered by programs if you do the FM-EM+1. EDE is $1500-2000, and if you want to be certified it is an enormous amount of work on top of that to get scans - many people end up doing bootcamps to get their scans, and that’s more like $4000+, which again some EM+1 programs are now covering. I’d recommend self-study and practicing when you’re in the ED for now, and then consider courses once you know where you are going and what your program provides. Check out the CPOCUS website - the video curriculum is very well done, and membership for non-certified member is very cheap. 

Thanks for the answer. Where I'm planning to apply for FM residency it seems that POCUS  isn't covered in the 2 years of FM residency, only in the +1. Will having the certification help me in my EM/ICU rotations during FM residency and make me a better applicant for the +1 program? Or is self-study with videos enough?

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11 hours ago, dalenevi said:

Thanks for the answer. Where I'm planning to apply for FM residency it seems that POCUS  isn't covered in the 2 years of FM residency, only in the +1. Will having the certification help me in my EM/ICU rotations during FM residency and make me a better applicant for the +1 program? Or is self-study with videos enough?

It might help you, but it might not. It depends on the EM programs you’re applying to, how you use it and how it helps you do your job, etc. Just having it on your CV may or may not be worth much. Whether self-study will be enough for you, or whether you’ll find value in certification, is up to you. Even if you do a bootcamp and get your certification in short period of time, integrating ultrasound into your practice and feeling confident and being fast with your scans takes practice and regular use. You can’t get that in a weekend.

I would recommend you start with the self study and just practice for now while in medical school. Put probes on patients, ask your staff who have training to show you, etc. That’s how I got started. You can always sign up for a course later in residency. Or expand your CaRMs umbrella and apply to some schools that have U/S!

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10 hours ago, frenchpress said:

It might help you, but it might not. It depends on the EM programs you’re applying to, how you use it and how it helps you do your job, etc. Just having it on your CV may or may not be worth much. Whether self-study will be enough for you, or whether you’ll find value in certification, is up to you. Even if you do a bootcamp and get your certification in short period of time, integrating ultrasound into your practice and feeling confident and being fast with you scans takes practice and regular use. You can’t get that in a weekend.

That makes sense, thank you!

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