Post Graduate Certificate Courses

Post Graduate Certificate in Ultrasound for Family Medicine

Over 3 semesters, the program covers the Fundamentals of Ultrasound scanning and 6 essential modalities encountered in Family Medicine (according to a 2021 survey carried out amongst Specialists in Family Medicine in Malta) including:

  1. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
  2. Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm (AAA)
  3. Hepatobiliary
  4. Renal
  5. Core ECHO
  6. Musculo-skeletal (MSK) basics and soft tissue

Key Information

Course Duration:

9-10 months

The Notch Conference Center, Kappara

Generic Information

• Limited to 10 candidates per course for effective mentorship
• Blend of online lectures/webinars and in-person practice
• Segmented online lectures aid self-paced learning
• Online portal for resources, mentor interaction, and submissions
• Each candidate is assigned an experienced mentor for year-long guidance
• Facilitation of access to practice machines
• 6-8 in-person intensive practice days per course
• Mandatory practice logbook with scans and pathologies
• Final exam with practical and theoretical elements for course completion.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the course the candidate should be able to:

•  Appreciate the fundamental physics principles relating to ultrasound including the piezoelectric effect, the factors that influence imaging as well as the recognition and differentiation of various artefacts
•  Recognise the importance of frequency and the way it impacts probe selection and machine settings
•  Understand and utilise the proper terms to annotate images and report scans
•  Utilise the various functions on US machines to optimise the scan
•  Hold and manipulate the probe effectively being mindful of ergonomics

•  Define the lower limb venous anatomy
•  Differentiate veins from arteries
•  Recognise thrombus within the deep veins of the lower limb and differentiate it from other pathologies with a similar clinical presentation
•  Understand how to integrate US scanning in the clinical algorithm for DVT, the limitations of US scanning for DVT and when to refer to radiology
•  Perform an ultrasound scan of the lower limb to identify deep venous thrombosis in the proximal deep veins
•  Recognise alternative pathologies presenting with LL pain including superficial thrombophlebitis, Baker’s cyst and muscular hematomas
•  Issue a report

•  Pathophysiology, epidemiology and anatomy of the abdominal aorta and its branches
•  Identify the abdominal aorta, IVC and vertebral body
•  Identify the upper abdominal peri-aortic anatomy including the liver, pancreas, portal vein
•  Understand the strengths and limitations of Ultrasound in scanning for AAA
•  Integrate ultrasound into the management pathway for AAA
•  Evaluate the abdominal aorta in both transverse (TS) and longitudinal planes (LS)
•  Identify the main branches
•  Measure the abdominal aorta correctly in both TS and LS
•  How to scan the difficult patient
•  Issue a report

•  Recognise the sonoanatomy of the hepatobiliary system including the liver, gallbladder, biliary ducts and pancreas. Understand how different approaches and patient positions may optimise the views
•  Use a structured approach to interrogate the various hepatobiliary structures including the liver, gallbladder, common duct and pancreas
•  Understand and identify the pathologies that affect these structures
•  Recognise the limitations of the scan and know when to refer for further imaging
•  Evaluate the liver for pathology
•  Diagnose hepatic pathology including lesions, cysts and cirrhosis
•  Recognise dilated intra and extra hepatic bile ducts
•  Identify and measure the Common Bile Duct
•  Recognise gallbladder pathology including calculi, acute and chronic cholecystitis and gallbladder polyps
•  Identify and measure the pancreatic duct
•  Diagnose pancreatic lesions
•  Issue a report

•  Appreciate the anatomy and normal sonoanatomy of the renal system including the kidneys, ureters and bladder
•  Appreciate and Identify normal anatomical variants
•  Use a structured approach to diagnose the more common pathology
•  Recognise the limitations of the scan and know when to refer for further imaging
•  Diagnose perinephric collections, renal and bladder lesions, cysts and calculi
•  Diagnose and grade hydronephrosis
•  Measure bladder wall thickness, bladder and prostate volume
•  Issue a report

•  Recognise the value of the various cardiac views in evaluating different cardiac structures
•  Define the sonoanatomy and recognise the cardiac structures in all cardiac views
•  Understand the changes in the cardiac chambers and valves during the cardiac cycle
•  Define the normal upper limits for diameters and ratio of the cardiac structures
•  Define the normal parameters for LV contractility
•  Acquire parasternal long and short axis, as well as subcostal views of the heart
•  Utilise a structured approach to optimise the various cardiac views and recognise the impact of specific movements on the cardiac appearance
•  Adopt the DEFG structured diagnostic approach to the evaluation of cardiac dimensions and function
•  Diagnose dilated aorta in dissection, dilated LA and dilated cardiomyopathy
•  Evaluate the systolic function/contractility to diagnose heart failure with reduced ejection fraction
•  Identify pericardial effusions and recognise tamponade physiology

•  Appreciate the sonoanatomy of normal muscle, tendon, joints and soft tissues
•  Recognise the appearance of pathologies including fractures, contusions and hematomas
•  Evaluate lymph nodes and differentiate between normal and abnormal nodes
•  Differentiate cellulitis vs abscess
•  Identify lipomas
•  Diagnose paediatric hip effusions in the limping child

Terms & Conditions
Refund Policy
If a refund request is received more than 28 days before the start of the course, a full refund will be issued. If a refund request is received 14 to 28 days before the start of the course, the payment will be kept towards a future course of the candidate’s choosing. Refund requests submitted less than 14 days before the start of a course will not be accepted.