Department of Emergency Medicine


The objectives of the month-long Emergency Ultrasound Elective are for students to: 

  • Develop competence in basic image acquisition. They will be able to operate an ultrasound machine in its basic form, understanding how to select the proper probe for the given study, how to adjust gain and depth to optimize the image and how to archive appropriate images.
  • Perform at least 100 independent ultrasound exams over the course of the month-long rotation.
  • Demonstrate how to appropriately drape patients, and be respectful of patient comfort and privacy while performing exams.
  • Learn to identify the key anatomic landmarks for the following studies: FAST, AAA, cardiac, biliary, renal, thoracic, and soft tissue/abscess.
  • Learn to identify the key ultrasonographic findings used to diagnose the following pathologic conditions: cholecystitis, pneumothorax, hydronephrosis, ascites, AAA, and abscess.
  • Learn to identify free fluid (ascites or blood) on an abdominal ultrasound.
  • Learn to identify fluid (pleural effusion or hemothorax) on a thoracic ultrasound
  • Learn the indications for core ACEP ultrasound applications.
  • Learn the types of ultrasound artifacts and their role in image acquisition.
  • Present one journal club article over the course of the month.


  • Students will perform bedside ultrasounds on emergency department patients in the Grady ECC and EUHM ED under the supervision of ultrasound faculty and residents rotating on the Ultrasound rotation. At the beginning of the rotation, these scans will be directly supervised by a faculty member or residents at the bedside. After developing competency, students may perform scans independently and then review their images with supervising physicians. Students will also observe scans performed by resident physicians.
  • Students will be expected to attend a weekly 1-hour didactic lecture focused solely on student learning objectives. Students will have one-on-one time with Ultrasound faculty and fellows that will focus on their independent skill development.
  • Students are expected to attend weekly ultrasound video review on Wednesday afternoons from 1pm-5pm. These sessions include image review, a bimonthly journal club, and didactic lectures.
  • Students are expected to attend the emergency medicine department's resident conference and grand rounds each Tuesday morning from 8am-12pm. Students will schedule one 2-3 hour session during the month to observe pediatric ultrasound faculty and residents scan at Egelston.
  • Students will spend one 2-3 hour session during the month at the simulation center or with faculty using vascular phantoms to practice skills with the use of ultrasound for procedural guidance.
  • Students are expected to complete the American College of Emergency Physicians online ultrasound curricula. Students will complete online tests to assess progress during the rotation. Students will be provided with a copy of "Emergency Ultrasound Pocket Reference" by Lyon, Menckhoff, Shiver (2008) to read and reference during their rotation. Emergency Ultrasound. 2nd edition. Ma, Mateer, Blaivas (2008) may be helpful for students wishing to read more in-depth into ultrasound topics but is not required.


The didactic portion of this course is primarily through self-study with online modules. Once students develop basic competency with scanning, they will scan independently under the indirect supervision of ultrasound faculty and residents. This elective fosters clinical reasoning as students are required to independently record interpretations of their scans at the bedside, and their clinical interpretations and reasoning will then be reviewed with faculty. This rotation will also help students with problem-solving by allowing them to contextualize the findings on ultrasound examination within a patient's larger clinical picture.

Evaluations and Grading

This is a Pass/Fail course. Students will be asked to meet with a faculty member at the two-week mark to perform a self-evaluation and to review their progress on the rotation. By the third week, students will have completed an online test which will be used to assess their grasp of the course knowledge objectives. Each student will need to complete 100 scans over the course of the 4-week rotation to pass. All student-performed scans will be directly supervised by emergency ultrasound credentialed faculty or recorded for subsequent quality assurance review at our weekly image review session.

Contact Us

Dr. Amanda Haan Ultrasound Education Co-Director for GME and UME

Dr. Komal Paladugu Ultrasound Education Co-Director for GME and UME