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About the Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Certification Academy

The Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Certification Academy exists to provide physicians and advanced practice practitioners the opportunity to collaborate in the shared mission of improving global health and setting the standards of excellence in POCUS.

We partner with our constituents through rigorous assessments, continual learning opportunities and community building around important topics relevant to POCUS. The POCUS Certification Academy allows physicians and advanced practice providers to demonstrate their knowledge, test their proficiency and promote best practices in POCUS.

We believe that the future of ultrasound is portable, mobile and provides exceptional results. If you are ready to join the future of healthcare, join us.

Our Partner Organizations

The pioneering organizations working with the POCUS Certification Academy in setting direction and strategy include:

  • The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography® (ARDMS ®)

For more than 40 years, ARDMS has set the standard for administering examinations and awarding credentials in areas of ultrasound. ARDMS empowers sonographers to provide exceptional patient care through rigorous assessments and continual learning.

  • The Alliance for Physician Certification & Advancement ™ (APCA ™)

Spun out of ARDMS in 2016 to meet the exclusive needs of physicians, APCA is dedicated to continual learning and providing high-quality and compassionate patient care through certification. APCA joins ARDMS in furthering its long-standing mission of raising the global standards of excellence in healthcare and patient safety.

POCUS Certification Academy Committee Members

The POCUS Assessment Committee has a leading role in the development of the certificates and certifications of the POCUS Certification Academy. The committee is composed of volunteers who are subject matter experts and are leading the practice by building the future of Point-of-Care Ultrasound in action. They work with Inteleos staff and more than 50 other volunteers to develop high standards and credentials with the goal of improving global healthcare. Due to the dynamic nature of POCUS, we approach development as an ongoing process and we are always refining our programs to be better.

James A. DellaValle, MD, is a 1977 graduate of The Medical College of Pennsylvania (now known as the Drexel University School of Medicine) and has been licensed to practice Medicine since 1978. His professional activities have been focused on the areas of Emergency and Family Medicine for those who live in rural areas and underserved populations. His current practice of Emergency Medicine is in an urban environment caring for those who have limited access to health care. He has served as medical adviser and a member of the Board of Trustees of Hands Together, an NGO working with the poorest of the poor in the Republic of Haiti for the last 15 years. Throughout his career, Dr. DellaValle has been and continues to be involved in undergraduate and graduate Medical Education. He has served as both a faculty member and residency program director. He is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York. Dr. DellaValle is board certified in Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine and Medical Acupuncture. He holds Certificates of added qualifications in Geriatric Medicine and Hospital Medicine from the American Board of Family Medicine and a Certificate in Tropical Medicine from the University of Minnesota. He has been awarded a fellowship by the American Academy of Medical Acupuncture and the American College of Emergency Physicians. He is certified by ARDMS in Abdominal, Cardiac and Vascular Ultrasound.
Yuriy Bronshteyn, MD, is a graduate of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in anesthesiology and then a critical care fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Bronshteyn has been practicing since 2015 at Duke University Hospital and the Durham Veterans Administration Hospital. He specializes in the care of critically ill patients and spends a considerable amount of time teaching Point-of-Care Ultrasound locally at Duke and for multiple national organizations. Dr. Bronshteyn is also an assistant professor of medicine at Duke University Medical School. He is board-certified in anesthesiology, advanced perioperative transesophageal echocardiography, and critical care medicine.
Ernesto Brauer, MD, FACP, FCCP, ABSM, is a graduate of the National University of Mexico City. He trained in internal medicine, pulmonary and critical medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee, WI. He has been practicing since 1986 and specializes in the care of critically ill and injured postoperative patients. His interests also include the difficult airway and ultrasound. He is also a clinical associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, Pulmonary, Critical Care, Sleep and Adult Echocardiography.
R. Eugene Zierler, MD, RPVI, is Professor of Surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Medical Director of the D. E. Strandness, Jr. Vascular Laboratory at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. He received both his undergraduate and medical education at the Johns Hopkins University, receiving an A.B. degree in 1973 and the M.D. degree in 1976. Dr. Zierler’s research interests have focused on the clinical applications of noninvasive diagnostic techniques for vascular disease. Over the last 30 years, he has been involved in a series of projects based on the use of ultrasonic duplex scanning for screening and follow-up of vascular problems, including carotid artery disease, lower extremity arterial disease, surveillance of vein bypass grafts, deep vein thrombosis, and renal artery disease. Dr. Zierler is the author or co-author of over 100 journal articles and 50 book chapters, and he is the editor of 6 textbooks. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) and Inteleos. He is also a Past-President of the Intersocietal Commission for the Accreditation of Vascular Laboratories (ICAVL).
Dean Vlahaki, MBBS, RDMS, FRCP, graduated from the University of Queensland Medical school in Brisbane, Australia in 2011. He completed his Emergency Medicine residency training and POCUS specialty training at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada in 2017. Vlahaki now practices at multiple sites in a network of academic tertiary care hospitals in Hamilton, Canada. He is also an Assistant Clinical Professor with McMaster University and a major contributor to the Emergency Medicine Point of Care Ultrasound Fellowship program at McMaster University.
Amy Morris, MD, is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, Washington. She completed a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of Washington, where she is currently a clinicial educator and Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. Dr. Morris is an Attending Physician in the medical and oncology-bone marrow transplant intensive care units and pulmonary consult services at the University of Washington Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center. Dr. Morris serves as a member of the APCA Needle Guidance Task Force (NGTF).

David L. Dawson, MD, RVT, RPVI graduated from the University of Southern California and completed his residency in surgery and fellowship in vascular surgery at the University of Washington. He is a decorated Air Force veteran who worked at NASA as Chief of the Medical Sciences Division at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. After 16 years on the University of California, Davis Department of Surgery faculty, he is now with Baylor Scott & White Health in Central Texas. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Society for Vascular Ultrasound, and Society for Vascular Medicine, and a distinguished Fellow of the Society for Vascular Surgery. He is the Vice Chair of the APCA Council.

Christopher Davis, PA-C, RT, is a graduate of A.T. Still University PA program and Weber State University Radiologic Sciences program. Mr. Davis has been practicing since 2006 as a Physician Assistant in the Interventional Radiology department at Banner Baywood Medical Center in Mesa, AZ. Mr. Davis is an adjunct faculty at A.T. Still University Physician Assistant program and guest lecturer at NAU Physician Assistant program, teaching students imaging guided procedures.
Brian Shian, MD, FHM, is a graduate of Southwest Medical University in China. He was trained in Orthopedic Surgery at Southwest Medical University Hospital. He came to the United States later and studied medicine at University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine through the Physician Assistant program. After working in Emergency Medicine for a year, he returned to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and completed his Family Medicine residency training there. He has been practicing since 1991, the last 10 years in Iowa City, Iowa, at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, selected as one of “Best Hospitals in America.” Shian’s practice focuses on hospital medicine, procedural and preventive care. Shian’s interest also include fishing and biking. Shian is a clinical associate professor at University of Iowa College of Medicine and a fellow in Hospital Medicine. He received teaching award yearly in the past 7 years consecutively. Shian is board certified in Family Medicine and with a Designation of Focused Practice in Hospital Medicine (DFPHM) by the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM), in conjunction with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).
Victor Rao, MBBS, DMRD, RDMSVictor is a radiologist by training and is one of the pioneers to introduce and develop Point of Care ultrasound learning content for medical students, PA students and residents and CME content for physicians at the USC School of Medicine in Columbia. He was the director of ultrasound education at USC School of Medicine from May 2008 to Aug 2018. He also trained physicians overseas in Tanzania and Philippines to establish POCUS programs. He loves teaching ultrasound and to travel. He has written some chapters in POCUS ultrasound textbooks and in an upcoming eBook. Victor has also worked as a primary care physician in mission hospitals overseas where he enjoyed seeing patients in the clinic and also managed inpatients and performed deliveries, C-sections and minor surgeries. Victor will be helping us with our clinical content strategy and will focus, among others, on education, practical assessment, case development, and the development of new certificate assessment programs. Victor is presently involved with Innovation and The Pocus Certification Academy at Inteleos (formerly ARDMS) as a Global Clinical Content Manager.  Some of his interest include travel, photography, fishing, flying drones and fixing things.

If you are interested in partnering with the POCUS Certification Academy, please contact us at POCUS@APCA.org.

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