First Year Ultrasound Curriculum

The MS1 Ultrasound Curriculum introduces students to the basics of ultrasound. The curriculum closely follows the organ systems that first year students cover in their didactic lectures and expands upon the students’ knowledge of anatomy and pathology. Students will gain novice proficiency with operating ultrasound machines, knowledge of various ultrasound views, interpretation of anatomical structures, and basic understanding of possible pathologies.

Curriculum Outline

The topics covered in the MS1 ultrasound curriculum will include the following educational objectives.


  • Learn the basic functionality of the ultrasound machines including transducer variations, application presets, depth, gain, color doppler, and pulse wave doppler.
  • Appreciate artifact of low attenuation, high attenuation, refraction, reverberation, and mirror artifacts.<
  • Describe which transducer is best appropriate for each organ and understand the orientation of the transducer with respect to the image on the screen.


  • Demonstrate the windows necessary to visualize the lung fields, including the visceral and pleural lines, rib spaces, and diaphragm.
  • Obtain subcostal, parasternal long, parasternal short, apical 4-chamber, and IVC views of the heart.
  • Identify the mitral valve, tricuspid valve, and aortic valve.
  • Identify the descending aorta.


  • Differentiate the anatomic parts of the kidney.
  • Demonstrate position of the uterus or prostate in relation to the bladder.
  • Estimate the bladder volume.
  • Apply color doppler to the bladder to demonstrate the urine jets.


  • Trace the GI system from esophagus, stomach, pylorus, small bowel, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, landmarks for the appendix, and large bowel.
  • Compare the appearance and relative location of liver to spleen.
  • Understand the anatomy of the portal triad and utilize color doppler to enhance visualization: Demonstrate the portal vein, hepatic artery, and common bile duct.


  • Differentiate dermal layer, subcutaneous tissue, fascia, muscle, bone, joints, tendon, vasculature, nerve, and lymph node.
  • Evaluate anatomy using dynamic movement.
  • Utilize the water bath and gel standoff pads to view structures in the hand.

Head, eyes, ears, nose, and throat (HEENT)

  • Examine the eye anatomy and the thyroid with its surrounding anatomy.
  • Demonstrate anterior and posterior chambers of the eye and outline the optic nerve sheath.