Bedside ultrasound is a clinical skill that every emergency physician should master.  With the use of bedside ultrasound, a diagnosis can be made rapidly and care can be arranged in a timely fashion. 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 proficient in utilizing ultrasound in the diagnosis of  gallbladder disease and obstructive uropathy. 


During the first year each Emergency Medicine Resident is assigned to a one-month ultrasound rotation (combined with the anesthesia rotation), which will include bedside imaging and didactic education.  This rotation is supervised by the director of ultrasound education, Ben Smith, MD.  The educational goals and objectives of the ultrasound rotation are:


  • To know the capabilities and limitations of bedside ultrasound.
  • Organ definition and identification.
  • Ability to identify common pathologic findings.
  • Satisfactory performance of 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 residents 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.  Contact Velvet Green, Ultrasound Fellowship Coordinator, for more information (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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