Qualifications and Responsibilities of the Personnel
Physicians who perform and/or interpret diagnostic ultrasound examinations in the practice of urology should be licensed medical practitioners who have a thorough understanding of the indications and guidelines for genitourinary ultrasound examinations as well as a familiarity with the basic physical principles and limitations of the technology of ultrasound imaging. They should be familiar with alternative and complementary imaging and diagnostic procedures and should be capable of correlating the results of these other procedures with the ultrasound findings. They should have an understanding of ultrasound technology and instrumentation, ultrasound power output, equipment calibration, and safety. Physicians responsible for diagnostic genitourinary ultrasound examinations should be able to demonstrate familiarity with the anatomic, physiologic, and pathophysiologic characteristics of the anatomic areas that are being examined. These physicians should provide evidence of the training and competence needed to perform and/or interpret diagnostic genitourinary ultrasound examinations successfully. The training should include methods of documentation and reporting of ultrasound studies.
Physicians performing and/or interpreting diagnostic examinations should meet at least 1 of the following criteria:
1. Completion of an approved residency program, fellowship, or postgraduate training that includes the equivalent of at least 3 months of diagnostic ultrasound training in the area(s) they practice, under the supervision of a qualified physician(s)*, during which the trainees will have evidence of being involved with the performance, evaluation, and interpretation of at least 300** sonograms.
2. Completion of an approved urologic residency that includes training in ultrasound since July 1, 2009 (the year reporting of ultrasounds was required by the residency review committee) and is board certified by the ABU or is board eligible.
3. Board certified in urology prior to July 1, 2009 and submit an attestation of experience including involvement with 100 diagnostic ultrasound examinations and training in urologic ultrasound that includes at least a minimum of 12 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ Level 2 course(s) verifying the individual has satisfactorily met all specified learning objectives for the Level 2 classification course(s) including hands-on demonstration of successfully performing and documenting ultrasound studies. CME must be AUA Office of Education- or AIUM-approved courses and include both didactic and hands-on ultrasound.
* A qualified physician is one who, at minimum, meets the criteria defined above in this document.
** Three hundred cases were selected as a minimum number needed to gain experience and proficiency with sonography as a diagnostic modality. This is necessary to develop technical skills, to appreciate the practical applications of basic physics as it affects image quality and artifact formation, and to acquire an experience base for understanding the range of normal and recognizing deviations from normal.
Maintenance of Competence in Genitourinary Ultrasound
All physicians performing genitourinary ultrasound examinations in the practice of urology should demonstrate evidence of continuing competence in the interpretation and reporting of those examinations. A minimum of 50 diagnostic genitourinary ultrasound examinations per year is recommended to maintain the physician's skills.
Continuing Medical Education in Genitourinary Ultrasound
The physician should complete 10 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ specific to genitourinary ultrasound every 3 years.