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Ultrasound credentialing in North American emergency department systems with ultrasound fellowships: a cross-sectional survey
  1. Venkatesh R Bellamkonda1,
  2. Hamid Shokoohi2,
  3. Abdulmohsen Alsaawi3,
  4. Ru Ding4,
  5. Ronna L Campbell1,
  6. Yiju Teresa Liu5,
  7. Keith S Boniface2
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota, USA
  2. 2Department of Emergency Medicine, George Washington University, Washington DC, USA
  3. 3Department of Emergency Medicine, King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
  4. 4Department of Health Policy and Emergency Medicine, George Washington University, Washington DC, USA
  5. 5Department of Emergency Medicine, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Venkatesh R Bellamkonda, Department of Emergency Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA; bellamkonda.venkatesh{at}


Objective To describe the credentialing systems of North American emergency department systems (EDS) with emergency ultrasound (EUS) fellowship programmes.

Methods This is a prospective, cross-sectional, survey-based study of North American EUS fellowships using a 62-item, pilot-tested, web-based survey instrument assessing credentialing and training systems. The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) distributed the surveys using SNAP survey (Snap Surveys Ltd, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA).

Results Over 6 months, 75 eligible programmes were surveyed, 55 responded (73% response rate); 1 declined to participate leaving 54 participating programmes. Less than 20% of EDS credential nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and students in EUS. Respondent EDS reported having an average of 4.2±3.3 ultrasound faculty members (faculty identifying their career focus as EUS). The median number of annual point-of-care ultrasounds reported was 5000 (IQR 3000–8000). 30 EDS (56%) credential each examination individually and 48 EDS (89%) use ACEP credentialing criteria. 61% of fellowship leadership believe their credentialing system is either satisfactory or very satisfactory (Cronbach's coefficient α=0.84).

Conclusions The data show heterogeneity among North American EDS with EUS fellowship programmes with regard to credentialing systems despite published guidelines from the ACEP and Canadian Emergency Ultrasound Society.

  • imaging, ultrasound
  • education
  • emergency department management
  • ultrasound
  • systems

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