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Interpreting Physician: Ultrasound (Revised 12-12-19)

Revision History

The physician must be a licensed medical practitioner with a thorough understanding of indications for ultrasound examinations, and must be familiar with the basic physical principles and limitations of the technology. All physicians supervising and/or interpreting ultrasound examinations must meet the qualifications in the table below:

Initial Qualifications

Radiologists/Physicians must document one of the following:

  • Certification in Radiology or Diagnostic Radiology by the American Board of Radiology (ABR), American Osteopathic Board of Radiology (AOBR), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC) or College des Medecins du Quebec (CMQ). Radiologists graduating from residency after 6/30/14 must be board certified/eligible as defined by the ABR.

  • Completion of an approved residency program including 3 months of training supervised by qualified individuals, and involvement with 500 ultrasound examinations, including a broad spectrum of uses. The physician should have successfully passed written and oral board certification examinations, including sections related to diagnostic ultrasound.

  • If residency did not include ultrasound, the physician must have had appropriate fellowship or postgraduate training including involvement with performance and interpretation of at least 500 ultrasound examinations, including a broad spectrum of ultrasound uses under the direct supervision of a qualified physician.

  • Physicians trained prior to 1982 must have performed and interpreted ultrasound examinations for at least 10 years, generating film or other hard-copy records for studies performed, along with a written report.

Physicians without formal fellowship or postgraduate training must document 2 years of ultrasound experience during which at least 500 ultrasound examinations were performed or supervised and interpreted.

Continuing Experience

Upon renewal, physicians reading ultrasound must meet one of the following:

  • Currently meets Maintenance of Certification (MOC) requirements for the ABR or the Osteopathic Continuous Certification (OCC) requirements for the AOBR

  • Read a minimum of 200 studies/3 years in ultrasound

  • Physicians reading organ system-specific exams (i.e., body, abdominal, musculoskeletal, head) across multiple modalities must read a minimum of 60 organ system-specific ultrasound exams in 36 months; however, they must read a total of 200 cross-sectional imaging (MRI, CT, PET/CT and ultrasound) studies over the prior 36 months.

Additional information regarding continuing experience requirements

Continuing Education

Upon renewal, must meet one of the following:

Additional information regarding continuing education requirements

Occasional readers who are providing imaging services to and for the practice readers are not required to meet the interpreting physician initial qualifications or continuing experience requirements. However, the reads of all occasional readers combined should not exceed 5% of the total volume of reads per practice and per modality. There must be an active written review process in place at the institution for occasional readers based on each institution’s credentialing requirements. Validation of this process will take place during any site visit by the ACR.

With regard to the supervision requirements for initial experience: the supervising interpreting physician reviews, discusses, and confirms the diagnosis of the physician being supervised. The supervising interpreting physician does not have to be present at the time of initial interpretation; however, the supervising physician must review and, if necessary, correct the final interpretation. Supervision may also be accomplished through a formal course that includes a lecture format in addition to all of the following:

  • A database of previously performed and interpreted cases

  • An assessment system traceable to the individual participant

  • Direct feedback regarding the responses

Examples of suitable assessment systems are an audience response system, a viewbox or monitor based program or an individual CD-ROM or web-based instruction system.

Revision History for this Article



Description of Revision(s)



Article created; FAQs incorporated; No criteria changes

Next: Sonographer/Technologist: Ultrasound

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