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Emergency Imaging For The 21st Century: Where Does Ultrasound Fit In?

April 2001

Abstract

To quote a commentary in the literature, "Ultrasound is the stethoscope of the future."1 In a few years, physicians will buy a handheld ultrasound along with their sphygmomanometer and ophthalmoscope during their first year of medical school. Yet today, many practicing emergency physicians have little idea how ultrasound can be used. These same physicians have colleagues who use ultrasound and see it advertised in emergency medicine journals. Worse yet, each week they're forced to watch the pseudo-doctors on "ER" wield an ultrasound probe like a magic wand. It's equally frustrating that this important technology hasn't been completely accepted into training programs and especially clinical practice. Many emergency physicians either started their practice prior to the widespread use of ultrasound, or their program didn't offer it as standard curriculum, or the department in which they currently work does not have access to a machine or a credentialing program.

This issue of Emergency Medicine Practice helps bridge the chasm between ultrasound's clinical potential and daily practice.
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