Resources + courses

Online resources: fantastic case-based blog by Dr Kelvin Ward, an Urgent Care doctor in Wellington NZ. He is a graduate of the Otago PGCertCPU working hard to promote the benefits of using ultrasound in primary care.

Life in the Fast Lane Top 100 Ultrasound quiz: Check out the images/video clips then check your interpretation against the experts!

Ultrasound of the Week: Short case vignettes that usually hinge on an ultrasound diagnosis


5minsono podcast: Brief video overviews of key POCUS topics. Short enough to watch as a quick tutorial before attempting a scan.

Ultrasound podcast: all things POCUS. Some of it is quite advanced, but there is plenty for beginners if you comb through.

Ultrasound G.E.L (Gathering Evidence from the Literature) podcast: discussion of important studies on POCUS. Very useful in such a rapidly growing field!

POCUS-focused TI electives:

Dunedin Emergency Ultrasound Elective – a structured, 5 week elective based in Dunedin ED, open to any NZ student. Contact Dr. Sierra Beck at the University of Otago for more information.

Christchurch Emergency Ultrasound Elective – TBA late 2021


POCUS NZ Workshops (Wellington): 2 day course, twice a year. NZ’s only POCUS course that explicitly welcomes students and RMOs!

University of Otago Post-Graduate Certificate in Clinician-Performed Ultrasound (PGCertCPU): 1 year course, NZ’s highest POCUS qualification. Consists of 3 long-weekend sessions in Dunedin/Clyde (lectures, discussions, and scanning volunteers), and submission of a logbook of 50 scans performed in your own hospital. A wide range of POCUS applications are covered, including focused echocardiography. Otago’s regulations state it is open to PGY1s. The total cost is around $6000.

UIE Dunedin POCUS Workshop: December 3-4, 2021. Cost: approx. $2000. Their website doesn’t say whether the course is open to students/house officers, but you are welcome to ask.

Australian Institute of Ultrasound courses: 1-5 day courses on the Gold Coast, Australia. There are a huge range of courses available covering various disciplines and for any level of prior experience. Cost: $250-$5000

Other hands-on opportunities in NZ:

  • Spend time in EDs that support students/junior RMOs to learn POCUS
  • Approach your hospital’s sonographers, echocardiographers, radiologists or obstetricians and ask to spend time in their scan sessions.
  • Martin Necas (Sonographer and clinical tutor, Waikato Hospital) invites all interested students to ultrasound teaching, 4-5pm every Wednesday.

A note on DHB funding

The NZRDA MECA (the most popular contract for RMOs) ensures 5 days of education leave for all doctors in PGY2 and above (clause 26.2). Applications should be submitted at least 3 months in advance (26.6). If a DHB approves leave for a course then they generally pay for it too (28.6). Unfortunately the MECA does not ensure any education leave for PGY1s, however 26.9 indicates that if a PGY1 can demonstrate the course would advance entry into a vocational pathway, it may be funded. Contact the RDA from your personal (not hospital) email address for help.

Check out the NZRDA MECA here.

Check out the STONZ MECA here.

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