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Ann Emerg Med. 1999 Nov;34(5):604-9.

A comparison of emergency medicine ultrasound training with guidelines of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.

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  • 1University of Maryland Emergency Medicine Residency Program, Baltimore, MD, USA.



To compare the current state of emergency medicine residency ultrasound training with guidelines for that training from the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM).


A brief questionnaire was sent to program directors from 119 emergency medicine residency programs in the United States. Responses were compared with the SAEM guidelines for clinical experience (150 total ultrasounds) and didactic experience (40 hours of didactic instruction).


The overall response rate was 92%. Seventy-six (69%) of the programs own an ultrasound machine (ownership defined as 24-hour availability and complete discretion over use). Of these, 12 (16%) indicated that their average 1998 graduate had done at least 150 total ultrasound scans during residency, although none of the programs had average numbers that exceeded the minimum guidelines for all 4 procedure categories. Information on didactic curriculum was available from 74 ultrasound-owning programs: the duration was 0 to 20 hours in 49 (66%), 20 to 40 hours in 19 (26%), and 40 to 100 hours in 6 (8%). Only 1 program's average graduate met or exceeded the SAEM guidelines for both didactic and clinical training.


Most emergency medicine residency programs own at least 1 ultrasound machine, with more than half of these obtaining their first machine within the past 3 years. Only 1 program currently meets SAEM training guidelines.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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