Message from the President

November 17th, 2015

Dear CEUS members,

I am so proud to be writing this post as the second CEUS president. The past president, Dr. Peter Ross did a wonderful job helping shape how we perform point of care ultrasound (POCUS) in our country. I would like to congratulate him on a very successful tenure.

For those of you who don’t know me, I am an emergency physician and currently practice at the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital in beautiful Nanaimo, British Columbia. I have been in Nanaimo for the past two years before spending the first 11 years of my career in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. I have trained thousands of you at ultrasound courses and post-course certification scanning and I have had the opportunity to travel across our beautiful country doing something I am extremely passionate about.

One of the biggest challenges in medicine is the uncertainty that we deal with on a daily basis. Patients often present as undifferentiated potentials of impending, or actual, disasters. Frequently, the patients’ history is not helpful (or completely non-existent) and the physical examination is sometimes akin to flipping a coin in narrowing your differential diagnosis.

POCUS has helped us, as clinicians, to stop imagining what might be going on inside a patients’s body, to frequently knowing the details of one’s anatomy and physiology. All this without waiting for, or asking someone else, to do it for us! We can perform POCUS where it matters, at the patient’s bedside, in real-time. We can repeat our scans to watch conditions evolve or monitor therapy.

The one feeling that I am passionate about is the desire to ensure that we perform POCUS safely. The patient should always come first and when a clinician picks up a probe anywhere in our country the images that they generate should do nothing except help patients. Period. POCUS should never cause harm.

Today we can find an ultrasound machine in almost every hospital in our country, being used outside of the department of radiology, by clinicians everyday. It is rare, in 2015, not to see a probe placed on the flank of a trauma patient to look for free fluid or on the abdomen of a pregnant women to find an intrauterine pregnancy. We are even seeing our nursing colleagues use POCUS to place difficult IVs and our medical students learn anatomy with a probe in their hand!

We use POCUS to save lives, expedite care and eliminate pain and suffering from coast to coast. We have made real strides over the past 15 years since the first physicians in Canada pioneered this wonderful tool. However, this progress did not come easy.

When POCUS was first introduced into our country, there was resistance to these intrepid acute care physicians using and teaching POCUS. There were college complaints and legal actions waged against physicians in every province and territory! It was within this milieu of opposition that CEUS was formed.

CEUS came into existence to provide a framework to ensure we were doing POCUS safely and efficiently. We chose the most rigorous certification requirements in the world for two reasons. One, because the literature did not tell us the correct number of scans needed to become competent (and still doesn’t) and, two, because we wanted our standards to be impregnable to opposition. The high standards of CEUS helped win the battles fought by our colleagues over the past decade and our society is one of the main reasons POCUS is standard of care in emergency departments in Canada today.

The original CEUS board, of which I was a member, had planned to dissolve our society when the residency training programs were able to produce new graduates proficient in POCUS. For most programs this is now true. Then why are we still here?

No longer are we just the purveyor of high certification standards that have helped fight those battles of the past. The battles have all been won and the war is over. POCUS is here to stay! CEUS has transformed into something more than what the founding members intended. CEUS has become the national voice of clinicians, in many specialities, who desire to use POCUS to improve their skills in diagnosis and treatment. Our certification standards, strong membership and leadership is now much more than just a bridge to effective ultrasound training in residency.

The New CEUS board is here to take us into the future and expand on what has been accomplished! We have been asked for years to provide advanced application standards and these guidelines are now in the final stages before release. We should all be proud of the tremendous work that has been produced by the Advanced Applications Committee.

Our new website has been in production for the past few months with a lot of improved functionality. You can now sign into this site with your existing email from our mailing list. Your password is also your email address. Once your membership is confirmed, you can access files like, logbook templates, and soon, our examination series. We have
been receiving Core IP requests on the website for over a week now and no longer do you have to pay by cheque and snail mail, we have Paypal!

What does the future hold for CEUS?

Much of this future is already here with our advanced applications, but things to look forward to include:

Collaboration: This includes collaboration with the real innovators in POCUS education and research in our country and even outside of our borders. CEUS will also be collaborating with many national bodies such as CAEP and international societies such as IFEM and Winfocus.

Expansion: CEUS will be expanding our certification standards to include other specialties such as pediatric emergency medicine and trauma scanning for general surgeons. Certification for nurses using POCUS for IV insertion is not far off as well!

Competency Assessment: One of the new approaches to medical education is competency assessment and POCUS is no different. CEUS will support the consolidation of ideas and research goals to help answer a burning question in POCUS education: How do you know when someone is competent to use POCUS safely?

Research: A CEUS research committee will support on-going POCUS research, help create multi-centre projects and answer questions that will help refine our standards.

Advocacy: CEUS will continue to be the voice of clinicians using POCUS in Canada and around the world. We will support and encourage its use to benefit our patients.

Awards: CEUS will help recognize the people who shine in our country. Awards for educator, researcher and clinician of the year will be coming soon! Maybe you know someone who should be nominated?

Social Media: CEUS will no longer be relying on outdated technology. Gone are the mailed cheques and paper certificates. Soon to be gone will be the regular emails and discussions through our email list. CEUS is now on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and Linked In. Regular updates / topics for discussion will be posted through all of these services. Please sign up or like one of these sites so we can keep in touch with you.

Website: Our website will continue to expand and grow with our membership. We now have a discussion board where you can post interesting cases and this message starts our news area where will providing information and messages from our executive board and committee members. An RSS feed is provided so you can follow all of this on your news readers.

Wait for more updates coming your way and please, please provide us with feedback through social media, our discussion board and news page here and, if you insist, via email!!

Chuck Wurster
CEUS President

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