Purpose/Hypothesis : Ultrasound imaging is being utilized more and more in rehabilitation settings although there is no accepted standard curriculum in physical therapy education programs. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a designed learning protocol (DLP) on RUSI proficiency in senior Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students.Number of Subjects : 5Materials/Methods : Three male senior DPT students received introductory coursework and a 2-hour in-service on the basic operation of a diagnostic ultrasound unit. Baseline cross-sectional area (CSA) measurements were made at 3 different points on 5 healthy subjects of convenience from a doctoral physical therapy program that included the supraspinatus, transversus abdominis, and the lumbar multifidus muscles. The 3 learners then participated in a designed learning protocol consisting of 2 hours of didactic lecture, 2 hours of hands on guided practice, and 4 hours of self-guided practice. This protocol was administered by an expert in the field of sonography, whose measurements were used as the gold standard. Post DLP measurements were then taken and pre and post DLP measurements were compared to the gold standard.Results : A paired t-test (with-in subject effects) revealed a significant difference (.001) in the pre and post DLP values of the lumbar multifidus. An ANOVA showed multifidus measurements were statistically significantly different from the gold standard pre (.001) and post ( .001) DLP. Additionally transversus abdominis post DLP measurements were statistically significantly different (.02) from the gold standard. All other between and within subject measurements were not statistically significantly different.Conclusions : Within subject measurements suggest that the learnerÕs measurements did not change significantly pre and post DLP. When compared with the gold standard 75% pre DLP measurements were not significantly different. Comparing post DLP measurements with the gold standard indicated 50% were not statistically significantly different. These results indicate that the DLP did not enhance proficiency but cursory instruction in operational use of RUSI indicated proficiency for identifying and measuring less ambiguous structures.Clinical Relevance : The findings suggest that DPT students with an advanced level of human anatomy education are capable of accurately measuring CSA of simple structures using RUSI with cursory baseline instruction. Further in-depth training may be required to properly identify and accurately measure deep and more ambiguous structures.