Advanced Echocardiography Program

Echocardiography for the critically ill patient

Most intensivists are currently not trained in echocardiography. Echocardiography, however, facilitates decision-making in emergency situations at the bedside, as it is an excellent tool to obtain a real-time assessment of cardiac function. Reaching competency in performing ultrasound studies in critically ill patients is extremely challenging and difficult. To be eligible for the European Diploma in Echocardiography (EDEC, currently the only international diploma dedicated for intensivists as the North American certification has not been implemented yet), a minimum of 100 transthoracic and 35 transesophageal echocardiographic studies of adequate quality is required. The lack of supervised training and courses tailored for intensivists and providing the relevant clinical knowledge represent the major limitation to become trained in critical care echocardiography. We offer a comprehensive course for intensivists aiming at reaching proficiency in critical care echocardiography. The course provides the required knowledge and technical skills needed to adequately and safely perform echocardiography in the critical care setting. All aspects of the technique will be covered: indication, image acquisition, image interpretation and integration in clinical context. This teaching program includes supervised sessions in addition to review of the unsupervised scans by an expert supervisor recognized by the EDEC and NBE (National Board of Echocardiography). Supervised and reviewed scans are accredited for both the EDEC and NBE diploma. In addition to hands-on teaching, theoretical knowledge is provided during didactic lectures and review sessions (interpretation of scans with editorial comments from the course instructors). Trainees have access to the course website with supplementary material. The training program is organised by Dr. Ghislaine Douflé, an intensivist at the University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto, one of the worldwide leading centers for Critical Care Medicine. Dr. Douflé is certified for transthoracic (2010, France and Testamur for Examination of Special Competence in Adult Echocardiography 2016, ASCeXAM- National Board of Echocardiography [NBE]) and transesophageal echocardiography (Canada, Advanced Perioperative transesophageal Echocardiography, Advanced PTE 2012, [NBE]), and is accredited supervisor for the EDEC diploma. Her portfolio comprises more than a thousand studies, including 250 transesophageal studies, performed during the last five years.


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Dr. Ghislaine Douflé

Education Lead, Toronto General Hospital

University of Toronto, Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Department of Anesthesia, University Health Network, Toronto General Hospital