Bedside ultrasound is a clinical skill that every emergency physician should master. The use of bedside ultrasound allows for rapid diagnosis and prompt care. Emergency physicians should be skilled in recognition in the following acute life-threatening emergencies for which delay in definitive care is unjustified: abdominal aortic aneurysm, traumatic hemoperitoneum, ectopic pregnancy, and pericardial tamponade. Emergency physicians should also be proficient in utilizing ultrasound in the diagnosis of gallbladder disease and obstructive uropathy. 


During the first year each Emergency Medicine Resident is assigned a one-month ultrasound rotation (combined with the anesthesia rotation), which includes bedside imaging and didactic education. This rotation is supervised by the Director of Ultrasound, Ben Smith, MD.


The educational goals and objectives of the ultrasound rotation are:


  • Know the capabilities and limitations of bedside ultrasound
  • Organ definition and identification
  • Identify common pathologic findings
  • Satisfactorily perform at least 50 studies in major anatomic areas

Both indicated and non-indicated exams will be performed. Residents will image a variety of pathologic conditions and gain experiences with normal sonographic anatomy and variations.


The clinical objectives of the ultrasound rotation are:


  • Individualized training with a certified ultrasound technologist to improve the resident's ability to obtain high quality ultrasound images
  • Cardiovascular exams to supplement the cardiovascular ultrasound experience

The didactic experience of the ultrasound rotation includes:


  • Reading the textbook “Ultrasound in Emergency Medicine” by Heller and Jehle and “Ultrasonography in Trauma: The FAST Exam” by Jehle and Heller
  • Reviewing images obtained by the resident with Emergency Medicine faculty


Ultrasound Fellowship

We also sponsor an Ultrasound Fellowship (non-ACGME accredited). It is a one-year program with one fellow. The Program Director is Ben Smith, MD. For more information, contact Velvet Green, Ultrasound Fellowship Coordinator: velvet.green@erlanger.org or 423-778-7628.



UT College of Medicine Chattanooga     960 East Third Street, Suite 100     Chattanooga, TN 37403     (800)947-7823, ext 6956     info@utcomchatt.org

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