Top Veterinary Ultrasound Courses for Recent Grads

A cat is examined with a portable ultrasound machine in a veterinary clinic.

A veterinary doctor performs an ultrasound scan in a veterinary clinic.

Ultrasound is a well-known and powerful imaging technology not only in human medicine but also in veterinary care. Given its widespread applications in universal healthcare, many veterinary graduates are opting for specified training with the most up-to-date technology for veterinary ultrasound machines. However, selecting the right course is paramount to making ultrasound diagnoses with confidence and accuracy.

We recommend selecting a veterinary ultrasound training course that meets your specific training requirements over choosing the most popular avenue for postgraduate veterinary ultrasound training. However, it may not be easy to choose the right course given the variety of courses and specializations along with varying durations. To simplify your search, we have compiled a list of the top veterinary ultrasound courses for recent grads along with their focus areas.

Veterinary Ultrasound Training Programs for Recent Grads

A cat is examined with a portable ultrasound machine in a veterinary clinic.

  1. The North American Veterinary Community offers a week-long ‘Small Animal Abdominal Ultrasound’ course that can be undertaken by beginners, intermediate, and advanced students. Taught by internationally renowned ACVR boarded radiologists, it provides a solid foundation in abdominal diagnostic ultrasound in dogs and cats. It is taught in small groups to enable unparalleled hands-on training that is both, standard and customized according to your specific needs. The course provides skills in performing a complete abdominal ultrasound examination and obtaining the best images. Towards the end of the postgraduate veterinary ultrasound training, you will be able to demonstrate competency of ultrasound instrumentation. It further provides an appreciation of the appearance of normal organs and variations in normal anatomy. It also covers the importance of anatomic landmarks in diagnostic ultrasound. Finally, it provides a working knowledge of several disease processes and crucial limitations.
  1. The NC State College of Veterinary Medicine, fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education, provides a two-day course in Small Animal Abdominal Ultrasound for both veterinarians and veterinary technicians. It provides diagnostic ultrasound experience and focuses on various abdominal organs and abnormal cases. It offers both lecture-based and hands-on laboratory training of ultrasound in veterinary practice for achieving competency in abdominal ultrasounds. Moreover, it provides a solid foundation in ultrasound physics and anatomy backed by several case examples to strengthen learning. The fee is $950 for two days and includes lunches and printed proceedings.
  1. The Veterinary Imaging Center of San Diego (VICSD) offers two personalized ultrasound training programs for veterinarians and sonographers (both human and veterinary ultrasound practice). The ‘Ultrasound Training’ program is a good option for hospital owners who want to provide their staff with ultrasound training at their hospital.

It includes the following:

  • 3-4 hours of theory including physics, applications, and cases
  • 4 hours of wet labs

It also includes one-on-one sessions with VICSD’s board-certified radiologist. It costs $1500/day and requires that pets for training purposes be provided by the hospital itself.

The other veterinary ultrasound training program – Ultrasound Sabbatical – is offered at VICSD itself and allows participants to attend both in-house and mobile ultrasound services, depending on their requirements and convenience. The program provides the opportunity to watch and interact as images are obtained. It also gives trainees exposure in collaborating, concluding, and writing reports based on findings. The cost is $1,500 for one week and $2,500 for two weeks.

  1. Improve International provides short and intensive practice-oriented postgraduate veterinary ultrasound programs ideal for busy veterinarians in a variety of topics in veterinary medicine. In the field of veterinary ultrasound, they have three courses based on candidates’ skill levels and are designed by veterinarians. Their courses are conducted in small batches for optimal learning and are delivered by world-class speakers and held at high-tech teaching laboratories.

The three short veterinary ultrasound training programs offered by the institute are:

    • Introduction to Small Animal Ultrasound

Veterinarians looking to get familiar with the basic techniques of ultrasound can consider the Introduction to Small Animal Ultrasound program. If you have little to no experience in operating an ultrasound machine, this is an ideal program for you. It is a two-day veterinary ultrasound training program that covers topics that will provide a strong foundation in the basics of ultrasound such as ultrasound physics, machine set up, standard echocardiographic views, and ultrasonographic measurements required for diagnoses. It also covers ultrasonography of the liver and spleen and gastrointestinal, reproductive, and urinary tracts.

    • Next Steps in Abdominal Ultrasound

The ‘Next Steps in Abdominal Ultrasound’ is a highly practical two-day course that is ideal for veterinarians with some or limited experience in using an ultrasound machine. It provides trainees with the confidence in performing ultrasound examinations and includes machine set up, image recording, commonly seen artifacts, and performing elementary abdominal Doppler and invasive ultrasound-guided procedures. It also covers normal and abnormal ultrasonographic appearances of the liver, spleen, pancreas, and the gastrointestinal and urinary tracts.

    • Advanced Abdominal Ultrasound

The Advanced Abdominal Ultrasound is a two-day course that provides the next level of veterinary ultrasound training. It is once again practice-oriented and prepares veterinarians to perform specific advanced scanning procedures. It’s most suitable for veterinarians and practitioners who have some experience with ultrasound machines. It focuses on performing and interpreting ultrasonographic examination of the right limb, the body of the pancreas, both adrenal glands, and the peritoneum. It also includes basic approaches for the identification of large blood vessel thrombi and portosystemic shunts.

  1. Improve International also provides a General Practitioner Certificate in Small Animal Ultrasound that has been accredited by the International School of Veterinary Postgraduate Studies (ISVPS). Part of the requirements of the program includes attending the modular program taught by Improve International and studying all areas of the course syllabus. Upon course completion, to obtain the certificate, candidates are required to satisfy ISVPS assessment requirements within four years.

Veterinary Ultrasound Machines from National Ultrasound

Based on the availability of veterinary ultrasound training programs that vary by course content, focus, and methodology along with duration, you can choose the program that perfectly matches your practice’s requirements. You may have to supplement your knowledge periodically as ongoing training is recommended to keep abreast of the latest ultrasound practices.

If you’re looking to equip your clinic with the right diagnostic imaging technology, National Ultrasound has a range of ultrasound equipment from reputable brands for both human and veterinary medicine. Furthermore, we offer an impressive selection of new and used ultrasound machines that cater to various applications. In addition, we provide repair and maintenance services and stock replacement parts and supplies to prevent downtime.

If you would like help in selecting the right ultrasound equipment for your clinic, contact National Ultrasound today. Our experts are trained in evaluating your requirements to fit you with exactly what you need!