KIRKSVILLE, Mo. – First-year medical students at A.T. Still University’s Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine are using innovative, state-of-the-art portable ultrasound technology in the Anatomy course this year. ATSU-KCOM is one of the first osteopathic medical schools in the country to use portable ultrasounds in its curriculum and only a handful of allopathic schools use it.

“We could really make a name for KCOM with this curriculum; it’s just unique,” said Margaret Wilson, D.O., department chair and professor, family medicine, preventive medicine, and community health.

Through a $300,000 grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)-Equipment to Enhance Training for Health Professions (Grant Award Number:  D76HP20710) funded by the Department of Health And Human Resources, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and personal investment, ATSU-KCOM has purchased 10 portable ultrasound machines for student learning and use. Faculty is working to further develop ultrasound curriculum and add it into other coursework.

Use of the “stethoscope of the future” will not only put ATSU-KCOM students above the rest in clinical rotation skills, but will also draw prospective medical students to the university.

Ultrasound technology is already being used for diagnosis of acute problems in ER and ICU settings, and will be a part of general practice for the next generation of D.O.s.

“Ultrasound bridges the gaps between doctor and patient. That is what is unique about ultrasound,–you get immediate results,” said Anatomy Chair Peter Kondrashov, Ph.D.

John Rickelman, D.O., assistant professor of medicine, was also instrumental in obtaining the new portable ultrasound technology.