This year’s theme will be resuscitative ultrasound – RESUSONOLOGY! And much like last year, we’ll be covering a range of applications from pre-hospital to ED to ICU. What more, not only will be offering lectures and workshops on focused transthoracic echo but we’ll also be discussing intra-operative transesophageal echo and we’ll be introducing intra-arrest TEE as well!

Sasksono18.png Image modified courtesy of

Stay tuned – more details to come in the next few weeks!



Paul Olszynski

Keeping It Together!

Managing a portfolio/logbook of your training scans

As a former family physician/part time regional centre emergency room doctor, and as a physician who is currently refocusing on internal medicine and critical care (yes, I am back in residency), I am justifiably a point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) enthusiast.

You are probably aware that various POCUS credentialing processes, specifically for those clinicians who did not receive longitudinal POCUS training during medical school or residency, often look somewhat like this:

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Back in 2008, the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of Emergency Medicine embarked on a process much like the above by adopting the Canadian Point of Care Ultrasound Society’s (CPOCUS) certification program. It is currently the department’s primary POCUS credential, and it has served them well in terms of assuring basic competence amongst already-in-practice clinicians (over 80% of Emergency Physicians in Saskatoon have obtained basic CPOCUS certification). But as the number of acute care POCUS applications continues to grow – with now well established resuscitative, diagnostic and musculoskeletal applications – so too has the demand for robust training processes and improved training workflow. Incidentally, this same department just launched its own internal wireless image capture system (QPath) thus enabling a pretty slick training regime, but this post is for those eager POCUS learners whose departments aren’t quite there (yet).

One important evolution in these newer training schemes is the increasing role of image capture (specifically capture of real patient clips). CPOCUS, for example, now accepts up to 50% of training scans (of advanced applications) in the form of saved clips for review by their instructors.

To comply with the option of obtaining additional scans for review by your supervisor/ instructor, I do the following: I record de-identified clips, approximately 4 seconds long and insert them into presentation software. Choosing a convenient “split screen” slide, allows a video clip on the one side and an interpretation on the other. This is preceded by a short clinical vignette and rounded off with a short diagnostic summary.

I find that this keeps my clips and case information together and produces a visually pleasing, easy to follow log of my un-proctored scans. Reviewers can use the notes area for critiquing, questions or suggestions. Here is what a typical case ends up looking like:

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The few slides above illustrate a picture of an elderly lady with a longstanding smoking history presenting with shortness of breath. Her cardiac views would suggest a cardiac etiology as opposed to COPD for her symptoms. Scanning her lungs showed B lines in all fields. Her formal echocardiography was consistent with my bedside assessment and reported an EF of 30%. As a result of POCUS, heart failure treatment was initiated earlier.
This is how I keep my scans together. Feel free to use it! I would love to hear from others so please comment and tell us how you keep your scans together.

Dr Leon Byker, BSc MBChB CCFP; PGY2 Internal Medicine, University of Saskatchewan.

Peer Review by Dr. Paul Olszynski, Emergency Medicine, Director of Sasksonic, University of Saskatchewan


Welcome students!


With the UGME and PGME POCUS curricula coming online this fall, as well as 3 POCUS courses, loads of research opportunties, and new image archiving software now live, its another exciting year of clinical ultrasonography at Usask! Stay tuned for more details!

School’s out for summer!


With classes over and more than a dozen courses under our belt – the Sasksonic faculty are going to take a bit of a breather! No courses planned for July and August – but stay tuned – the fall course roster (and more details on SASKSONO18) will be announced in a few weeks.

Breaking the sound barrier…

Have you ever struggled with discussing your POCUS findings with colleagues or consultants? Are you working to develop POCUS within your department but facing external resistance? Then this short excerpt from SASKSONO17 is for you! Spanning just 8 short minutes, you’ll hear from our expert panel about their experiences, how to face challenges, and the ingredients to success.


Does this resonate with you? We’d love to hear from you as well!


The Sasksonic Team