Foreword In the last few decades ultrasonography in Europe has developed from an imaging method primarily rooted in radiology to a clinical instrument, like a stethoscope. In recent years ultrasonography has become established in many medical disciplines, with the exception of psychiatry. Most ultrasound examinations are performed by sonographers (technicians) and radiologists in the USA, China, the UK, Australia and New Zealand. But even in the USA, ultrasound is becoming more prevalent in physicians’ clinical practice. At some universities, ultrasound is starting to be integrated into students’ medical curriculum (University of South Carolina, Wayne State University School of Medicine, and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine). Today ultrasound is widely applied. Therefore, it is important to ensure the high quality of this investigation. This method would be of limited value if only applied by a few experts but highly effective when it is widely conducted by primary care physicians and specialists at the highest possible level. Examples of ultrasound applications include the early diagnosis and treatment of aortic aneurysm or renal cell carcinoma, which can be detected even in an asymptomatic stage. The European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (EFSUMB) supports ultrasound education in Europe. We distinguish three types of education: undergraduate (student) education, postgraduate training to achieve a medical specialist title and continuous medical education (CME) thereafter. EFSUMB organizes continuous medical education (CME) in the form of Euroson Schools, Endorsed Courses and EUROSON Congresses and has formed its own system of EFSUMB CME credits. Postgraduate training has been supported by the creation of guidelines and recommendations (http://www.efsumb.org/guidelines/guidelines01.asp). An EFSUMB common course (ECC) was formed for abdominal ultrasound as a cornerstone of the uniform European education. In cooperation with Europe's leading ultrasound experts the EFSUMB course book (ECB) has been written for this course. ECB is freely accessible in the EFSUMB web pages (http://www.efsumb.org/ecb/ecb-01.asp).. This website is of particularly great importance in developing countries. EFSUMB ultrasound learning centres (ULC) for practical training on patients are being created throughout Europe. The Education and Professional Standards Committee (EPSC) together with the Publications Committee and Executive Bureau of EFSUMB have stressed the importance of ultrasound education for students in universities. The recent EFSUMB survey in European universities showed that there are very large variations in both the quantity and quality of ultrasound teaching. These range from single or no hours of ultrasound- specific education to teaching of dozens of hours such as at the University of Maribor, Slovenia. At this university, anatomy is taught using ultrasound on colleagues rather than solely the examination of the corpse. Later on, physiology is learned with the help of Doppler examinations. Ultrasonography accompanies the students’ education in the clinical disciplines. To overcome these differences in European education and to actively support the teaching of students on a broad base, EFSUMB has issued a recommendation for a necessary minimum program of ultrasound teaching. In support of this, EFSUMB has created the student edition of the EFSUMB course book (ECBSE). The ECBSE is patterned upon the ECB book. With few exceptions, the authors of the ECBSE and the ECB have been retained. Some figures in the ECBSE have also been reproduced from the ECB.
The purpose of this book is to teach students examination techniques including how to handle ultrasound devices (knobology). Individual chapters deal with the physical principles of ultrasound, examination techniques, knobology, abdominal organs, neck, thorax and the musculoskeletal system. The structure of each chapter has uniform characteristics. The main components include the topography of the respective organs, their anatomy and examination techniques. The criteria of normality and normal variants in the ultrasound are presented in detail. Other important components of this edition are short videos that accompany various examinations. These videos are necessary in order to understand and later correct the practical application of ultrasound examinations. Only the most important pathologies are presented in order not to unnecessarily overload the book. The chapter of emergency ultrasound is precise and important. It should be very helpful for young medical doctors in their first emergency duties. The ECBSE is available currently in electronic form only and is cost free for everybody (http://www.efsumb.org/ecb/ecb-stu-01.asp).References are listed at the end of the individual chapters. However the EFSUMB course book (ECB: http://www.efsumb.org/ecb/ecb-01.asp) is the best introduction for interested students to study ultrasound in depth. We wish you much fun with this learning tool and we are confident that it will find broad acceptance amongst students.
Asst. Prof. Dr. Jan Tuma,
Prof. Dr. Radu Badea,
Prof. Dr. Christoph F. Dietrich