Delivering the knowledge base and skills required to assess gestational age, pregnancy site, pregnancy viability and fetal number with point of care ultrasound at 5 to 10 week’s gestation. Developed as a joint initiative between the Mobile Learning Unit, Melbourne Medical School and Mercy Perinatal, Mercy Hospital for Women, this course is written by and for clinicians who care for women in early pregnancy. The course readily aligns with existing educational programs and qualifications, prepares you for supervised practice, and is flexible to your educational needs and availability. The course can be also used for revision, for example if your career changes or is interrupted temporarily.

The early 21st century was marked by scandals in Australia, Ireland, England and other high-income countries where women suffered misdiagnosis of miscarriage and ectopic pregnancy. Women rightly demanded accurate diagnosis and humane care. Women complained about long waiting times in Emergency Departments, cursory ultrasound examinations and hastily-made management plans, often determined to a greater extent by clinicians’, not patients’ preferences.

Enquiries such as the Irish Health Executives' 2011 National Miscarriage Misdiagnosis Review called for readily accessible Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinics (EPAC), staffed by appropriately educated clinicians and specifically recommended courses in transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasound.

The current course meets the need for multi-disciplinary education, supporting clinicians and healthcare services to develop holistic Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinics (EPAC), with special attention to practice and interpretation of point of care ultrasound (POCUS).

Designed For

Clinicians currently working in or planning to work in Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinics: Obstetrics and Gynaecology specialists and trainees, Midwives, Emergency Medicine Physicians, Trainees and Nurses, Sexual Health and General Practice Doctors, Trainees and Nurses.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify normal early pregnancy development for both singleton and twin pregnancies using ultrasound
  2. Create ultrasound images through knowledge of physics, machine settings and patient aspects such as uterine axis and patient size
  3. Define terminology for probe manoeuvres and anatomical planes
  4. Evaluate when to utilise POCUS and when to refer for additional imaging and other expertise
  5. Diagnose miscarriage and outline treatment options
  6. Diagnose tubal ectopic pregnancy and outline treatment options
  7. Recognise serious or common complications in the ovaries with early pregnancy
  8. Implement improved practice for experienced Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinics (EPAC) practitioners and those developing an EPAC service
  9. Organise supervised POCUS practice, workshops, simulation or assessments, as a trainee or trainer/assessor
    1. Course Leaders

      Dr Elizabeth McCarthy

      Dr Elizabeth McCarthy

      Senior Lecturer, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne. Obstetrician and maternal fetal medicine subspecialist, Mercy Hospital for Women, Heidelberg, and Northern Hospital, Epping, Australia. FRANZCOG, CMFM, DDU
      Liz completed her Doctor of Medicine in 2006, and her postdoctoral studies have addressed clinical areas of high priority in obstetrics, including obesity in pregnancy, late miscarriage, perinatal palliative care, vaccination during pregnancy, and ultrasound biometry for detection of fetal growth disorders. She has published invited editorials in both The Lancet and British Medical Journal in the diagnosis of miscarriage and fetal growth disorders. She has led several randomised controlled trials investigating the place of simple interventions to reduce gestational weight gain. Liz’s expertise in the area of vaccination in pregnancy and public health advocacy are evidenced by her previous invited position on Australian Technical Advisory Group on (Pertussis and Influenza) Vaccination. She provides consultative advice to RANZCOG in this important area, and is also an associate editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, the official scientific journal of RANZCOG.

      Prof Susan Walker

      Prof Susan Walker

      Co-director Mercy Perinatal, Professor and Head of Department, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Melbourne, Obstetrician and maternal fetal medicine subspecialist, Mercy Hospital for Women, Heidelberg, Australia. FRANZCOG, CMFM, DDU
      Professor Susan Walker is the Head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology since 2016 and also the Director of Perinatal Medicine at Mercy Hospital for Women. She was awarded the Sheila Handbury Chair of Maternal Fetal Medicine, University of Melbourne. Professor Walker has over 130 publications. Most are published in leading specialist journals of her field and in prestigious interdisciplinary journals. She currently holds three NHMRC grants with the total funding in excess of $1.5 million. Since 2011, Prof. Walker secured over $500,000 in additional philanthropic funding.


      Dr Lindsay Bridgford

      Dr Lindsay Bridgford

      Director of Clinical Ultrasound, Ultrasound Education Group, University of Melbourne. Emergency Physician, Maroondah Hospital, East Ringwood, Melbourne Dr Lindsay Bridgford is the Director of Clinical Ultrasound award courses at the University of Melbourne, Ultrasound Education Group, and is an Emergency Physician at Maroondah Hospital, part of the Eastern Health Service in Melbourne. He has obtained several post-graduate ultrasound qualifications, including the Master of Clinical Ultrasound from the University of Melbourne, and Diplomas of Diagnostic Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine and Critical Care, from the Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography. He supervises emergency ultrasound training including a Special Skills Placement in ultrasound at Maroondah Hospital, and is a College of Intensive Care Medicine advanced trainee cardiac supervisor.

    • Dr Lauren Tapper, Consultant Obstetrician, Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellow, Mercy Hospital for Women
    • Dr Natasha Pritchard, PhD scholar, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Registrar, Mercy Hospital for Women
    • Dr Amber Kennedy, PhD scholar, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Mercy Hospital for Women and Newlife Fertility
    • Dr Simon Meagher, Obstetric Ultrasonologist, Mercy Hospital for Women, Private Ultrasound Practice. FRANZCOG, COGU

    Entry Requirements

    Course participants should be either enrolled in or graduated from a degree in midwifery, nursing or medicine.

    Application Procedure

    Click on the ‘Enrol now’ button to be guided to the application form.

    Contact Us

    mobile learning

    E: mobile-learning@unimelb.edu.au

    T: +61 3 8344 5673

Course Information


Course Fee: AUD $285 (incl. GST)

Student/Nurse/Trainee/Allied Health Professional Discounted Fee: AUD $195 (incl. GST)