Ultrasound Education



Case Study:  What does this ultrasound show? 

Show Answer
Head injury with massive periorbital edema, ultrasound used to check pupillary light reflex through closed lid.

Resident Education

The University of Washington’s Emergency Medicine residency provides an outstanding clinical experience in emergency ultrasound, well rounded by rotations through the pediatric emergency department and community affiliate hospitals. Our emphasis is on providing comprehensive hands-on scanning experience, along with training scholars and future researchers in the field of emergency ultrasound.

Residents in our emergency medicine program are trained by EM faculty who are fully credentialed to use ultrasound to diagnose and manage a variety of serious and life-threatening conditions. We use a variety of educational methods including patients, live models and phantoms to solidify their knowledge. During ultrasound “scan shifts” residents focus on developing the cognitive and psychomotor skills needed to perform focused sonography for trauma (FAST), early pregnancy, cardiac, soft tissue and procedural examinations, among others.

During the EM1 year, residents learn the basic principles of the physics of sound, in addition to the indications and technique of performing various limited point-of-care ultrasounds in the ED.  After obtaining a solid foundation in emergency ultrasound in years one and two, our third year residents focus on more advanced point-of-care exams such as musculoskeletal, DVT, advanced cardiac and resuscitative ultrasound.

Throughout each year, the ultrasound group provides monthly didactics along with quarterly hands-on workshops for residents and faculty in the Division of Emergency Medicine. Additional educational material that is available to EM residents includes journal articles, text books, online resources, and image/video review.

During the four years of EM residency, we anticipate that each EM resident will meet the American College of Emergency Physicians standards for emergency ultrasound credentialing. This includes a minimum of 40 hours of didactic ultrasound training (including lectures, hands-on demonstrations, and simulations) and performing a minimum of 200 scans.

Medical Student Education

Our medical students gain exposure to point-of-care ultrasound during the “Intro to Emergency Medicine” course held each spring. Throughout the year, we actively recruit our medical students to be models for a number of workshops and training sessions. In the final month of their 4th year, we hold a “Capstone” course to solidify the fundamentals of bedside ultrasound. We are actively working on a new 4th year elective in Emergency Ultrasound -- stay tuned for more details!