Home » Award for Excellence in POCUS Education

The Point-of-Care Ultrasound Certification Academy™ continually seeks select volunteers to assist in developing clinical materials for use in our assessments that verify proficiency in point-of-care ultrasound. Top performers will earn the annual Award for Excellence in Point-of-Care Ultrasound Education. To be eligible you must currently be practicing point-of-care ultrasound. Scroll down for details.

Congratulations to our 2019 Award for Excellence in Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Education winners!

1st Place:  Dr. Ivica Zdravkovic

Dr. Ivica Zdravkovic is a 50-year-old specialist of general practice/family medicine from Serbia. He graduated in 1995 from the Medical Faculty of Belgrade University. In 2005, he finished his specialist, post-graduate studies in Belgrade. In 2014, he received the title of “primarius” from the Serbian Ministry of Health, which is roughly equal to PhD. This came as a result of his continuous publishing of scientific papers and several books, including “Basics of Ultrasound Diagnostics for GPs.”

Dr. Zdravkovic acquired ultrasound diagnostic skills and certification through various courses in Serbia and Austria. He also learned through collaboration with specialists in other fields (radiologists, cardiologists, urologists, etc.). Finally, he participated for years in ultrasound CME courses and activities of US-based organizations.

Currently, he teaches on national ultrasound courses held by Association for Medical Imaging of Serbia. He also serves as a member of the Scientific Committee for this organization, and is recognized as a pioneer of POCUS education in Serbia. Additionally, he is a founding member of the International POCUS Organization (IPO). Through this organization, he promotes a specialized POCUS curriculum for family medicine specialists. This curriculum covers vascular Doppler sonography, thyroid gland examination, breasts ultrasound, echocardiography, abdominal ultrasound, urology ultrasound, basics of OB/GYN ultrasound, scrotal echosonography, and musculoskeletal ultrasound.

Dr. Zdravkovic is actively teaching and mentoring individual students (young physicians) in his private medical office. Beside his professional medical activities, Dr. Zdravkovic enjoys several hobbies, such as martial arts, playing a few instruments and making cartoons. However, his greatest passion is spending time with his son and daughter and his two granddaughters.

2nd Place: Robert E. Kollpainter, PA-C, FAPACVS, RDMS, CAQ in CVTS

Mr. Kollpainter received his training as a Physician Assistant from Western Michigan University, completed the Butterworth Hospital/Western Michigan University Post-Graduate Surgical Residency, and holds a CAQ in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery. He is the Lead Cardiovascular Physician Assistant at Aspirus Wausau Hospital and has practiced there since 1997. He has been involved with all aspects of endoscopic vessel harvesting and has one of the largest known harvesting experiences, having lectured/taught endoscopic harvest techniques extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and India.

Mr. Kollpainter has been involved with point-of-care-ultrasound (POCUS) since 2005. He received his credentials as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer in 2008. He is very active teaching critical care POCUS throughout the Physician Assistant profession and is the Education/Co-Course Director for the Aspirus Physician Assistant POCUS Internship Program. Mr. Kollpainter has vast experience with all aspects of line placement and recently represented the American Association of Physician Assistants in the revision of the “AIUM Practice Parameter for the Use of Ultrasound to Guide Vascular Access Procedures.” He has a specific interest in protocols for POCUS evaluations.

3rd Place: Thomas Robertson, MD

Dr. Robertson is a board certified internist. A native of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Dr. Robertson pursued an undergraduate degree in Anthropology at the University of Notre Dame. After a year-long service program in Costa Rica, Dr. Robertson attended medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and subsequently completed internal medicine residency at UPMC, where he focused on care for underserved populations and ultrasound education. Dr. Robertson is now an Associate Program Director and Director of Ultrasound Education for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh, PA. He is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha and Gold Humanism Honor Societies. Dr. Robertson sees outpatients at the Allegheny General Hospital (AGH ) Internal Medicine Clinic and the Center for Inclusion Health, and is a teaching attending and Center for Inclusion Health consultant at AGH.

Academic Interests
Dr. Robertson’s academic interests include expanding access to care for underserved populations and implementing strategies to improve care for these patients. Additionally, he focuses on point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) education and its potential impacts on patient care, as well as, research and education on POCUS utilization in resource-limited settings around the world. He also contributed regularly to a medical education podcast. On a national level, Dr. Robertson is involved with point-of-care ultrasound education with various organizations.

Our 2019 Leaderboard:

Position Name Country Total Points
1 Ivica Zdravkovic Serbia 575
2 Robert Kollpainter USA 110
3 Thomas Robertson USA 100
4 Ivona Palashevska Canada 75
Total 860

Award for Excellence in Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Education™

We seek select volunteers to help create materials for use in our assessments that determine proficiency in point-of-care ultrasound. Top performers will earn the Award for Excellence in Point-of-Care Ultrasound Education. To be eligible you must currently be practicing point-of-care ultrasound.


When you join us as a volunteer you are:

· Leading the future of ultrasound and helping grow the use of POCUS

· Growing your professional network while increasing recognition and visibility

· Demonstrating expertise in the field of point-of-care ultrasound


Points will be awarded according to the following criteria:

Video Submission:
10 points per 2 videos
Case Writeup:
50 points per case
Case Review:
25 points per case
Video/Media Submission: Donate POCUS videos to be used in the creation of clinical cases as HIPAA-compliant media becomes available to contribute. Videos are preferred in .mp4 format and each case must include at least two videos. Videos must be for the same pathology and patient. Case Authors: Create clinical cases for assessments using content-specific templates. Case creation includes the submission of case media (where possible), writing narratives, providing patient data (such as vitals) and identifying answers for templated questions. Use cases from your day-to-day life, but make sure to use at least two videos for each case. Case Reviewer: You will review drafted clinical cases. Reviews will be completed independently or with staff in a virtual meeting. You’ll be asked to make sure the cases are accurate and free of clinical content errors.

What’s in it for you?

  • Your name on the POCUS.org website
  • A professional recognition letter detailing your accomplishments

Finish in the top 10 in points and you’ll also receive:

  • The Award for Excellence in Point-of-Care Ultrasound Education

Finish in the top 3 you’ll also receive:

  • Your name and bio on the POCUS.org website as a contributing volunteer to our exams

Finish number 1 in points and you’ll also receive:

  • An iPad (32 GB)

Cases are needed in the following areas:


Abdominal Trauma

Focused Cardiac


Lower Extremity DVT

OB / 1st Trimester



MSK Soft Tissue

Renal Genitourinary


Hepatobiliary & Spleen

Please go here for a full list of cases needed.

The deadline for earning points is August 1st. Good luck!

Please contact us at POCUS@apca.org with any questions.

2018 Award for Excellence in Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Education Winners

1st Place:  Dr. Kat Ogle

Dr. Ogle is a board-certified emergency medicine physician and is currently practicing at The George Washington University Hospital, Washington VA Medical Center and United Medical Center. She began her career in medicine with seven years as a registered nurse, nearly six of which were spent as a critical care RN. She then pursued her medical degree, attended The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences and stayed at GW to complete her residency training in emergency medicine as well as an emergency ultrasound fellowship and stayed on as faculty in 2013. In 2014, she completed Master Teacher Leadership Development Program at The George Washington University.

She is an Assistant Professor of emergency medicine at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences and is actively engaged in medical student, resident and fellow education. She is the Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship Director, Executive Chair of the Clinical Competency Committee for the residency. She directs the Medical Education and Leadership Scholarly Concentration at the medical school level and leads Ultrasound Integration in Undergraduate Medical Education, Point-of-Care Ultrasound elective, and Teaching and Learning Knowledge and Skills, a senior elective during which students learn concepts and tools which will facilitate their growth as clinician educators. She has fostered engagement with the women faculty within her department and co-founded their professional development group, GW Emergency Medicine Females or GWEMFEM. Through this group, she encourages and inspires amplification and promotion of her women physician peers.

On a national level, she has served as the Didactics Committee chair for the Academy for Women in Academic Emergency Medicine, has worked collaboratively with its members to develop content which is meaningful to AWAEM’s mission. She also serves as the co-chair of the Task Force on Starting a Women’s Group within AWAEM, a group embarking upon the development of a resource toolkit for other academic women physicians desiring to develop their own groups. Dr. Ogle’s professional interests include point-of-care ultrasound, both undergraduate and graduate medical education, mentorship, female leadership and promotion, as well as wellness. She balances her academic responsibilities with her role as a single mother of a precocious first grader with whom she lives in Virginia.

2nd Place: Dr. Denise Costa do Carmo Barros

Dr. Denise Costa do Carmo Barros, is as a medical doctor and has been practicing for 17 years. She earned her degree in 2002 from University Federal Fluminense (UFF) – Niterói/ RJ in Brazil. In 2005, she became a Doctor of Radiology, after completing her fellowship at UFF. Dr. Denise owns two clinics in Brazil called Espaço Médico São Lucas. Dr. Denise also works in other four private clinics and at the public center of Image at São Gonçalo Hall where she takes care of low-income individuals. Dr. Denise sees more than 1,000 patients per month and is a fan of ultrasound. Her focus is on breast ultrasound, core biopsy and thyroid FNA. In her spare time, Dr. Denise enjoys watching movies and travelling.




3rd Place: Dr.  Maryam Al Ali

Dr. Al Ali is an emergency physician at Rashid Hospital Trauma Center, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dr. Maryam obtained the Arab Board in emergency medicine in 2016 after completing emergency medicine residency in Dubai Health Authority. She is active in point-of-care ultrasound education in the United Arab Emirates and has been an instructor in numerous workshops. She has a special interest in pediatric emergency, critical care and health care quality.







Participate in Setting Global POCUS Standards

Help us define the future! We need your your insights to help us scientifically develop a list of the top 25 point-of-care ultrasound protocols and procedures used worldwide. We would so appreciate it if you would participate in our POCUS25 Survey today!