Radiology Clerkship Diagnostic Radiology Ultrasound (RD506M.23)

Sara Durfee, MD


4.00 CREDITS (Clinical Elective)




HMS Principal Clinical Experience (Core Clinical Clerkships) or equivalent


Full time every month.

Open to Exclerks

Yes (may be restricted for international students)


This course provides an opportunity for students who, having completed the core clerkship in radiology, wish further advanced instruction in ultrasound. Students will spend four weeks in the Ultrasound Division of the Department of Radiology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. During these four weeks, the students will be supervised by Brigham and Women’s Hospital attending radiology ultrasound specialists, including Dr. Sara Durfee,  Dr. Carol Benson,  and Dr. Mary Frates. The student will also be paired with an experienced ultrasound technologist or a senior radiology resident or fellow and will be given hands-on instruction as to how to perform basic ultrasound examinations, including abdominal, renal, thyroid and scrotal studies, with a heavy emphasis on gynecologic and obstetric ultrasound exams. Students will learn the essentials of diagnostic ultrasound in a busy academic practice, including indications and limitations of these studies, practical tips for performing the studies, interpretation of the exam, and generation of a radiology report. Each day the student will be scanning approximately 12 patients, for a total of approximately 240 patients by the end of the rotation. Depending on availability, separate short observation periods (1-2 days) may be scheduled in the following departments: high risk obstetrics cross sectional interventional radiology (ultrasound guided biopsies and drainages) and angiography (ultrasound guided central line placement). 
Students will also participate in a daily morning thirty minute ultrasound conference and will attend resident conferences during the lunch hour. By the end of the clerkship, the student will be comfortable with basic scanning techniques and will be able identify common abnormalities on ultrasound. Weekly reading assignments will be given. The student will be assessed with a final examination at the end of the clerkship. This course would be particularly suited to a student interested in diagnostic radiology, obstetrics/gynecology, emergency medicine, medicine or surgery.

Learning Goals

  1. To understand when an ultrasound examination is the appropriate modality to use to evaluate a clinical question.
  2. To become comfortable with basic scanning techniques.
  3. Demonstration of student ability to use the radiology PACS system for retrieval of studies, use of appropriate tools to demonstrate key radiologic findings, and the capability to use appropriate radiologic terminology to generate a radiologic report.
  4. To recognize normal anatomy and common pathologic entities on ultrasound.

Incorporation of Basic Science Content and Evidence-Based Medicine

Participation in image interpretation with attendings, residents and fellows. Attendance at radiology didactic and case-based teaching conferences.


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