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Training Guidelines for Physicians Who Evaluate and Interpret Diagnostic Detailed Fetal Anatomic Ultrasound Examinations

Physicians who perform and/or interpret diagnostic detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound examinations should be licensed medical practitioners who have a thorough understanding of the indications and guidelines for detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound examinations as well as 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 examination findings. They should have an understanding of ultrasound technology and instrumentation, ultrasound power output, equipment calibration, and safety. Physicians responsible for ultrasound examinations should be able to demonstrate familiarity with the anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology of those organs or anatomic areas that are being examined. Performance and interpretation of a detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound examination require advanced skills and knowledge.

Physicians performing and/or interpreting diagnostic detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound examinations should meet 1 of the following:

  1. Completion of an accredited residency in obstetrics and gynecology or radiology and subspecialty training in maternal-fetal medicine or obstetric ultrasound imaging of at least 1 year’s duration that includes structured training in detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound under the supervision of a qualified physician(s).* The trainee must have been involved in the performance, interpretation, and reporting of a minimum of 100** detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound examinations in fetuses at increased risk for structural or genetic conditions. At least 25 of these 100 detailed fetal anatomic evaluations should be in fetuses with major morphologic abnormalities.
  1. If completion of the fellowship program occurred more than 36 months ago:
  1. Evidence of 10 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ dedicated to detailed fetal anatomic imaging must be documented within the previous 36 months; and
  2. Evidence of supervision and/or performance, interpretation, and reporting of at least 100** detailed fetal anatomic examinations in the previous 12 months must be demonstrated.

  1. For completion of an accredited residency and/or fellowship program in which the physician did not receive structured training in detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound examinations, documentation of clinical experience could be acceptable, providing the following could be demonstrated:
  1. Evidence of 30 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ dedicated to detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound examination within the previous 36 months; and
  2. Evidence of being involved in the performance, interpretation, and reporting of a minimum of 100** detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound examinations in fetuses at increased risk for structural or genetic conditions within the previous 12 months. At least 25 of these detailed anatomic ultrasound examinations should be in fetuses with major morphologic abnormalities. The examinations must be under the supervision of a qualified physician(s),* and attestation of this experience must be documented in an experiential log signed by the supervising physician.

Maintenance of Competence
Physicians performing detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound examinations should demonstrate evidence of continuing competence in the interpretation and reporting of those examinations. A minimum of 100 diagnostic detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound examinations per year is recommended to maintain the physician's skills.

Continuing Medical Education
The physician should complete 10 hours
 oAMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ specific to detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound every 3 years.

*A qualified physician is one who, at minimum, meets the criteria defined above in this document. Details on specific requirements for supervision are available in the “Consensus Report on the Detailed Fetal Anatomic Ultrasound Examination: Indications, Components, and Qualifications” (J Ultrasound Med 2014; 33:189–195).

**One hundred detailed fetal anatomic ultrasound evaluations 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.

Approved 10/31/2015

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