Steven A. Edmundowicz

SAN DIEGO — The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the Olympus Corporation of the Americas announced a joint partnership at Digestive Disease Week to train endoscopists in the diagnostic use of endoscopic ultrasound, according to a press release.

The collaboration, per the release, will develop a non-commercial Diagnostic EUS Training course to address a training gap for practicing endoscopists whose skills are needed in community hospitals planning to add to the EUS service line.

“Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) plays an important role for patient diagnosis and staging of GI and certain non-GI malignancies and diseases,” ASGE President Steven A. Edmundowicz, MD, FASGE, said in the release. “Having a structured training program available through this collaboration is a great opportunity for those clinicians who are in community settings and have a need for this type of diagnostic service incorporated into their practice.”

The release reports that the adoption of EUS techniques is needed due to its higher accuracy in diagnosing and staging gastrointestinal diseases of the pancreas, bile duct, liver, spleen and gallbladder.

Although EUS experts are commonly found across academic facilities, fewer physicians in community-based settings are well trained in this procedure. Thus, the urgent need for EUS-trained physicians in community-based settings, per the release.

“As we continue to make advances in diagnostic and therapeutic technologies, we also need to create opportunities for physicians to become well versed in their applications and use,” Alex Milstein, MD, chief medical officer at Olympus America, said in the release. “Olympus is proud to be partnering with ASGE to provide optimal training on EUS procedures to maximize patient benefits.”

The course is designed to train practicing endoscopists during a period of 6 to 9 months. The program’s online and hands-on curriculum covers the full spectrum of diagnostic EUS, as well as Fine-Needle Aspiration and Fine-Needle Biopsy. Designed by more than 50 established EUS medical experts in the field, the Diagnostic EUS Training is based on ASGE guidelines for more than 200 EUS procedures.

The training will be split into three parts: an online module available to be completed during a 3-month period, a hands-on course that takes place over 3 days at ASGE’s IT&T and then an on-site proctorship at a designated training site during 2-week periods over 4 to 6 months.

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