Established in 1982 by Edward B. Diethrich, MD, an internationally-renowned cardiovascular surgeon, the Arizona Heart Foundation School of Cardiac Ultrasound was the first program in the United States dedicated to the development of tomorrow’s sonographers.  The program has evolved to include the ever-changing field of vascular sonography and is now known as the School of Cardiac & Vascular Ultrasound.

The comprehensive 12-month program is offered once a year and includes classroom instruction, extensive hands-on scanning experience and clinical rotations.  The program is designed for individuals currently working in the field of ultrasound or who are considering entering the profession.

Our nationally-recognized instructors, Terry Reynolds, BS, RDCS, and Gail Size, BS, RPhS, RVS, RVT, FSVU, literally “Wrote the Books” for today’s cardiovascular ultrasound professionals.  No other program has made such comparable literary contributions to cardiovascular sonography.

Our faculty’s expertise, coupled with small class sizes, not only prepares our students for the national registry exams but also results in graduates with a discernible difference.  More than 500 highly-qualified sonographers have graduated from the program.  Our graduates provide quality patient care, possess leadership positions in their profession, and dedicate themselves as life-long learners.

Course Objective

The Arizona Heart Foundation School of Cardiac & Vascular Ultrasound offers a comprehensive program designed to provide an in-depth clinical experience that will enable the students to produce accurate, high-quality echocardiographic images.  Students acquire the knowledge needed to make the distinction between normal cardiac anatomy and cardiac pathology. In addition, the program emphasizes an understanding of basic cardiology and ancillary cardiovascular diagnostic procedures.


  • Become proficient in all aspects of adult echocardiography at an entry level position
  • Become proficient in all aspects of carotid duplex scanning and abdominal aortic duplex scanning
  • Be able to recognize the most common congenital heart defects
  • Integrated didactic clinical and classroom training
  • Prepare students for the SPI and Adult Echo RDCS-AE conducted by the ARDMS Boards or the RCS exam of the CCI


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