University of California San Diego

Program Description

Type of Program

UC San Diego Emergency Ultrasound Fellowship is a one year program designed to give graduates of emergency medicine residency programs the skills and knowledge to become ultrasound program directors and leaders in the field of emergency ultrasound. Our program includes experiences at both the UC San Diego Hillcrest Medical Center (an academic, level 1 trauma center) and La Jolla Campus (comprised of Thornton Hospital, Moores Cancer Center, Sculpizio Cardiovascular Center, and the developing Jacobs Medical Center). Our combined department's bed capacity is 58 with a total of 71K visits a year. We have a four year residency program with 9 residents per year. We offer pediatric emergency ultrasound fellowship training as part of our program.

Year Fellowship Started:


Ultrasound Program Status

Division of Ultrasound Medicine within the Department of Emergency Medicine

Number of Ultrasound Faculty:

The core of our division is supported by a close knit group of 5 physicians and one fellow. We also have almost 40 ultrasound credentialed physician within our department (at least 6 of which have their RDMS).

Notable Faculty

Colleen Campbell MD RDMS Division Director
Amir Aminlari, M.D., Fellowship Director
Anthony Medak, M.D., Assistant Division Director, School of Medicine Coordinator
Asia Takeuchi, M.D., School of Medicine Coordinator
Sukhdeep Singh, M.D.

Ultrasound Fellowship Education

The fellow will be responsible for a large amount of teaching of medical students rotating in Emergency Ultrasound. This will be both in clinical and didactic sessions. Additionally the fellow will be actively involved in didactic teaching and hands-on courses involving emergency residents, as well as with our new School of Medicine second year ultrasound curriculum.We also boast numerous opportunities for International teaching, with prior trips to Mozambique, Nepal, Haiti, Peru, and Mexico.

There are US conferences given 6 times per year to Emergency faculty and residents during the year. The fellow will be invited to give two of these lectures. Additionally,the fellow will be actively involved in teaching faculty conferences once or twice a year. We have a brand new state of the art Simulation Centers with ultrasound simulation sessions occuring every other month.

Quality Assurance:
QA will be lead by the fellow four times a month and attended by at least one ultrasound faculty, and all rotating residents and medical students. All scans done in the ED will be reviewed in video clip format. QA sessions will involve saving interesting scans for future didactics and feedback to residents, medical students and faculty regarding their scans. The fellow will complete one quality assurance project during fellowship to improve upon the practice, organization or teaching of emergency ultrasound.

Journal Club:
During each QA session the fellow is expected to review and critique articles chosen by the medical students and residents rotating with the division.

Scanning shifts:
The fellow will do scanning shifts at UCSD Thornton and Hillcrest Medical Center. We are also looking at the possibility of expanding to the Rady Children's Hospital and VA Medical Center. During scanning shifts the fellow will provide active teaching to medical students, residents and faculty in the emergency department during the shift.

Billing and Credentialing:
The fellow will learn the details of billing of emergency ultrasound. At completion of the year the fellow will be knowledgeable in the credentialing process of emergency ultrasound.

Clinical Shifts:
The fellow will be expected to work 56 clinical hours per month. Shifts will be divided between UCSD Thornton and Hillcrest emergency departments. Opportunities with Custody Medical Services, Rady Children's Hospital, El Centro Regional Medical Center, and the VA Medical Center may also be available.

The fellow is responsible for designing an ultrasound study and getting it approved through the Institutional Research Board to be ready to start at the beginning of fellowship. Additionally, the fellow is required to submit an abstract to a national convention. During the fellowship year the goal is to start two research projects under the guidance of the ultrasound faculty.

Do you bill for ultrasounds?

We are able to bill all of our ultrasound-guided procedures performed in the Emergency Department and for interpretation of limited ultrasound performed in the Emergency department by credentialed faculty members.

Do you require follow up imaging for patients who get ultrasounds?

We require follow-up studies on patients who did not have the ultrasound done by a credentialed faculty member. In our institution, approximately 150 scans are required to be credentialed in Emergency Ultrasound.

Other Information

Mission statement

We train physicians who are both technically and clinically skilled in the practice of emergency ultrasound; who are passionate educators; who are well versed in ultrasound literature.

About our Fellowship

UCSD’s Emergency Medicine Ultrasound Fellowship was created in 2010 out of a desire to advance the use of bedside emergency ultrasound to improve patient care and create educators within the field. Our program is based on the ACEP Guidelines, however we encourage our fellows to go above and beyond, with our ultrasound faculty tailoring advanced topics to meet the fellow’s interests and ideas. We focus on providing specialized training in ultrasound technique, interpretation, and application to clinical practice. Our fellows are trained to become leaders in both academic and community settings.

Details about our Program

Length: 1 year
Positions: 2 fellows per year
Clinical Hours: 48
Salary: approximately $80,000. Moonlighting opportunities are available.
Advanced educational opportunities: Echo reading with cardiology, US guided nerve blocks with anesthesia, Critical care ultrasound with pulmonary critical care fellows and faculty
Scanning shifts: Eight 4-hour teaching shifts per month with US faculty, residents and medical students
Scanning sites: Hillcrest adult ED, Thornton adult ED, Rady pediatric ED, Jacob’s Center ICU
QA & Image Review: Every week you will review images with dedicated US faculty, residents and students
Journal Club: In concert with our curriculum, we review landmark and novel US literature weekly at QA
Research Project: One scholarly publication required
Administrative Project: One quality improvement project of the fellow’s choicee
Teaching opportunities
Leading scanning shifts with residents and students
Resident conference and medical student lectures
UCSD school of medicine SIM sessions
Invites to teach at regional US conferences
Asynchronous Learning: We have a cutting edge education website providing both core and advanced ultrasound topics, a robust literature review section, and novel US-based clinical cases. You can visit our website at
International Outreach: Annual missions to various at-need countries to educate physicians in the utility of ultrasound