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Why learn ultrasound? It is considered best practice and becoming standard of care for several emergent clinical scenarios, including assessing for cardiac activity during cardiac arrest and guidance of dangerous procedures. At the UW, we consider practical training in emergency clinical ultrasound to be among the foundational components of residency, so we invest in a strong ultrasound curriculum and incorporate this training into clinical care. In the course of the UW EM residency, each resident can expect to perform well beyond the milestone standard of 150 ultrasound examinations.

Assistant Professor and Emergency Ultrasound Section Chief Sara Damewood, MD, is a champion of ultrasound education and one of five fellowship-trained ultrasound faculty.

Our commitment to a robust ultrasound curriculum sets us apart in six key ways:

  1. More highly trained faculty. UW EM has five diverse fellowship-trained ultrasound faculty. This is unusual, and underscores our commitment to an environment of ultrasound excellence. As a resident, you will work side-by-side with these faculty as you develop expertise in ultrasound.
  2. More state-of-the-art equipment. We have seven clinical ultrasound machines (Phillips Sparq, Sonosite S-series, two Sonosite Edges, and three Sonosite M-Turbos) , which help build ultrasound expertise instead of spending time searching for “the machine”. All ultrasound images are exported wirelessly and stored digitally. Every scan performed by residents are reviewed for QA purposes.
  3. Opportunities for additional learning. Advanced ultrasound training is available through an ultrasound elective. This elective is flexible in format to accommodate the interested resident. A fellowship or 3+1 program year is also an option for extended training.
  4. More use at the bedside. With five ultrasound fellowship trained faculty and 17 other emergency medicine faculty with ultrasound privileges, we create a clinical environment that encourages use of ultrasound into clinical practice. We are able to chart our ultrasounds and save images in patient medical records. Ultrasound is also an important aspect of critical care and community EM rotations.
  5. High-tech simulators. We have three state-of-the-art ultrasound simulators (Sonosim, Sonoman, and Heartworks), with procedural, echocardiography, transvaginal and abdominal capabilites. These high-fidelity simulators are used to better understand imaging planes, to practice technique and to visualize various pathology.
  6. Training from day one to day 1095.  PGY1s attend an ultrasound workshop to learn the basics of ultrasound during the first month. Then, emergency clinical ultrasound training is integrated into all three years of EM residency at UW. PGY1s have a combined anesthesia/ultrasound rotation with innovative asynchronous didactic content so more time can be spent at the bedside polishing skills with faculty. Ultrasound education is incorporated into EM resident conference, via a longitudinal innovative small group workshop series that covers all 11 clinical emergency ultrasound indications recognized by the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP).

As a resident at our Level 1 Trauma Center and quaternary care referral center, you will have ample opportunity to use ultrasound to assist in the assessment and management of a wide variety of pathology.

To learn more about our Ultrasound Fellowship, please visit our fellowship page here.

Emergency Ultrasound Section Chief and Assistant Professor of Medicine Sara Damewood, MD, is available at