Quotations About The
Profession of Sonography:
The following are
quotations with references that concern the profession of sonography and
the responsibility sonographers have in doing their jobs. These quotes
may assist in writing and
negotiating job descriptions. These
quotations are also one of the driving reasons to promote higher
education in sonography. If you are interested in obtaining an online
Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, please visit our
web page for our degree completion program:
If you find
additional quotes that support the professionalism of sonographers,
please forward them to:
responsibilities and skills required of sonographers have been well
known for over 25 years. Below are some published statements from
leading medical experts about the profession of Diagnostic Sonography:
There is a very important difference
between sonographers and other imaging technologists. Other
technologists may reject an image because of sub-optimal technical
quality, but the sonographer usually rejects over 95% of the scans
because they do not provide the diagnosis. The sonographer must make
the diagnosis and be able to interpret the scan to document the presence
of any abnormalities. This is the unique responsibility of the
Ken Taylor, Yale University, addressed this question in the Nov/Dec.,
1982, issue of the SDMS Newsletter.
Medicare Ultrasound Procedures: Consideration of Payment Reforms and
Technician Qualification Requirements
US GAO-07-734 June 28, 2007
The skill of the sonographer conducting an ultrasound [sic] is critical
for its use to support a physician's correct diagnosis; poorly captured
images can lead to misdiagnoses or unnecessarily repeated exams.
Findings from several peer-reviewed studies, the Medicare Payment
Advisory Commission, and ultrasound-related professional organizations
support requiring that sonographers either have credentials or operate
in facilities that are accredited, where specific quality standards
apply. In some localities and practice settings, CMS or its contractors
have required that sonographers either be credentialed or work in an
accredited facility. Medicare's inconsistent requirements undermine
assurance that beneficiaries are receiving high-quality services across
MEDICINE FOUNDATION OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
July 2007: Volume 3 Issue 2, p. 4
Should credentialing organizations require all accredited sonographers
be supervised by physicians who are accredited as well?
N. Greene MPH RDMS RDCS, J. Sonek MD RDMS, A. Nadel MD
The Fetal Medicine
Foundation and Fetal Medicine Foundation USA concur that each person
involved in fetal ultrasound examinations should be appropriately
trained to do so. This applies to ultrasound-based diagnosis and
screening in all trimesters. In the case of specialized evaluations such
as the nuchal translucency measurement, nasal bone evaluation, tricuspid
valve and ductus venosus Doppler, and fronto-maxillary facial angles,
standardized views and additional training with ongoing quality
assurance are imperative. We are of the opinion that the interpreting
physicians should be aware of the requirements for such views.
However, it is also our opinion that requiring
the interpreting physicians to have the same skills as the sonographers
to obtain such views, though highly desirable, is not practicable. In
the United States, physicians commonly depend to a large extent on the
skill of the sonographer. This applies to not only general
obstetricians/gynecologists but to maternal-fetal subspecialists and
radiologists as well. This situation is not likely to change any time
soon. Requiring sonologists, in addition to the sonographers, to be
accredited in the specific situation of nuchal translucency measurement
would lead to significant limitation of access of American women to
nuchal translucency screening. At this point in time, the most effective
approach is to make sure that the person who is performing the nuchal
translucency measurement, (as well as the nasal bone and tricuspid flow
assessment) is properly trained and that he or she participates in
ongoing quality assurance. It is our belief that it is better to offer
standardized screening (accreditation of the sonographer OR the
sonologist) to a much larger number of women than it is to insist on
restrictive screening strategies (accreditation of the sonographer AND
the sonologist) which reach a much smaller number of women. (emphasis
DuBose TJ; Sonographers:
Highly experienced, vastly underappreciated;
for Imaging & Rad Therapy
Professionals; 2006 June 26; Vol. 19 ?Issue 14 ? Page 12
Words are Golden by Terry J.
DuBose, M.S., RDMS, FAIUM, FSDMS
Confusion about whether
to use "ultrasound" or "sonography," "sonographer" or "ultrasound tech,"
has done the profession a disservice.
The link above to "Words are Golden" is
the unedited version of the manuscript submitted, including references.
The version referenced above was edited.
see streaming video of this lecture "The
Profession's Identity: Words and Actions Matter"
?The accuracy of
the [sonographic] exam is almost exclusively dependent on the skill and
experience of the sonographer, no matter how knowledgeable the
interpreter. If the sonographer misses the disease during the scan, it
is unlikely that it will be detected. This places a unique
responsibility on the sonographer.?
Parhar, Gordon; Director Sonography
Business Unit, Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. in RT IMAGE, May 1,
2006, p. 20-21.
five quotations are from: Harris J. Finberg, MD: ?Whither (Wither?) the
Ultrasound Specialist?; J Ultrasound Med 2004 Dec; 23:1543-1547 ?
sonography, the image acquisition is complex and operator
dependent, and it becomes the diagnostic process. The subsequent
reading confirms the completeness of the examination and validates
the diagnosis but generally cannot go beyond the provided images.
Thus, in large measure, the one who holds the transducer makes
our most adept scanners, but they have less depth of medical knowledge
than physicians. They are also frequently being pushed to increase their
throughput, completing ever more scans within their shifts.?
physicians have gone into practice, additional pressures tend to pull
them away from active involvement in sonographic scanning. The real-time
acquisition of images is seen as time-consuming, and it is often left to
the sonographer alone. Competing duties are seen as more time-efficient
and financially rewarding. The radiologist may favor time spent
interpreting computed tomographic and magnetic resonance imaging scans
and doing procedures such as biopsies. The obstetrician is frequently
occupied with deliveries, procedures, and consultations.?
?I believe it is
time to recognize the added benefit they [sonographers] could
provide as physician extenders. Therefore, I support the creation of the
new category of sonographic practitioner, analogous to the nurse
practitioner or nurse anesthetist, who would be able to function
independently within defined areas of responsibility, including
rendering diagnoses and generating reports.?
?The Society of
Diagnostic Medical Sonography has supported the formation of an
Ultrasound Practitioner Commission, which has published a detailed
proposal for such an advanced sonographic care provider.?
Finberg, MD: ?Whither (Wither?) the Ultrasound Specialist?; J Ultrasound
Med 23:1543-1547 ? 0278-4297
expert, Dr. Roy Filly of the University of California in San
Francisco. PrimeTime Live, ?Sound Advice? National Headliner Awards:
Investigative Reporting First Place: ABC News - Prime Time Live; Diane
Dr. ROY FILLY:
?Diane, I have studied
all of the major imaging technologies over the last 25 years -- CAT
scanning, magnetic resonance imaging, angiography, and nuclear medicine.
All of these technologies are very complicated in their own right. But
among those, there is no question in my mind that ultrasound is the most
difficult to learn.?
ABC Primetime Live;
January 14, 1998; DIANE SAWYER...
Watch and hear the Filly
High Speed BroadBand, or
Dial Up Internet
ultrasound examinations are performed by technologist [sic] when a
physician is not present, and a report is issued by a physician at a
later time. The legal responsibilities are extraordinary because a
necessary part of care may involve rendering an interpretation at the
time the study is performed, especially if real-time instrumentation is
used. This differs from the relative roles of technologists and
physicians in other imaging disciplines.
James A E, Bundy A
L, Fleischer A C, et al; "Legal Aspects of Diagnostic Sonography" in
SEMINARS in ULTRASOUND, CT and MR; Grune & Stratton, Inc., 6:209; June,
embarrassing to me as a sonologist and greatly to the credit of
sonographers that they have taken the lead on qualifying examinations.
The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers conducts a
comprehensive examination that, in my opinion, would be failed dismally
by many physicians who "practice" sonology."
Filly R; Letter:
"It's Not My Fault Because...."; JUM, March 1998; 17:156.
screening ultrasonography performed by well-trained Sonographers is
extremely accurate in the detection of anomalies in an indigent
Magriples U & Copel
JA: Accurate detection of anomalies by routine Ultrasonography in an
indigent clinic population. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998;179:978-981.
scan can recognize that the diagnosis must be made there and then.?
Society of Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology (ISUOG) President,
Sturla Eik-Nes, opened the ceremonies with a short welcome and talk
about the importance of education. November, 1999; Buenos Aries,
diagnostic efficacy of the AP sonographer or ultrasound practitioner was
found to be similar to that of the traditional sonographer-sonologist
model. ... the experienced, well-trained AP sonographer can function
independently, with only discretionary consultation and assistance.?
Persutte WH, Drose
J, Spitz JL, Cyr D, Sansoucie DA, West FW, & Kawamura DM:
Advanced-practice Sonography in Obstetrics and Gynecology: A Pilot Study
Investigating the Efficacy of the Ultrasound Practitioner. J of Allied
Health, Summer, 1999; 28:71-79.
Data adapted from
SDMS Salary Survey 2005:
of cases per day & hour by specialty.