The use of ultrasonography for the investigation of urgent diagnostic dilemmas is by no means new. Although it has been widely used for almost 40 years, during the past two decades ultrasonography has achieved a primary role in Europe and Asia in the investigation of emergent conditions such as trauma. The use of this bedside diagnostic modality is expanding rapidly and will continue to do so. Emergency physicians have developed a fellowship program in emergency ultrasonography, have set forth a model curriculum for physician training in emergency ultrasonography, and have begun to conduct hands-on courses for academic emergency physicians. Because diagnostic ultrasonography has proven to be of value in the diagnosis and management of a variety of emergent conditions, ultrasound examination, interpretation, and clinical correlation should be immediately available around the clock in resuscitation areas. It is hoped that (1) ultrasound training will be incorporated into general surgical residency programs, (2) ultrasound curriculum and credentialing processes will be established, and (3) more surgeons will have this modality available to them as part of their diagnostic armamentarium in the evaluation of injured patients.
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