Qualifications for Performing and Interpreting Imaging Procedures in Obstetrics and Gynecology
May 24, 2023
Physicians who perform, evaluate, and interpret gynecologic and obstetric ultrasound examinations should be licensed medical practitioners with an understanding of the indications for such imaging studies, the expected content of a complete ultrasound examination, and a familiarity with the limitations of ultrasound imaging. They should have training, experience, and demonstrated competence in gynecologic and/or obstetric ultrasonography, as applicable to the physician’s practice. They should be familiar with ultrasound safety and the anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology of the pelvis, pregnant uterus, and fetus. Physicians are responsible for the documentation of the examination, quality control, and patient safety.
Obstetrician–gynecologists who are appropriately trained and experienced in sonographic imaging methods should receive privileges to perform and interpret imaging studies on the basis of their training, experience, and demonstrated current clinical competence. Obstetrician–gynecologists can perform the immediate and timely interpretation of imaging studies, correlate these studies with clinical findings, counsel the patient, and assume the responsibility for determining the treatment of the patient. No additional certification should be required for credentialing for those procedures and care that fall within the scope of an individual’s current certification by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Inc. Additional training may be needed for more advanced imaging (eg, evaluations for complex congenital anomalies). Those performing specialized examinations should have the necessary training and clinical experience to do so, and clinicians should not perform imaging that is beyond what their training and experience support. However, any policy that prohibits or delays obstetrician–gynecologists from performing or interpreting imaging studies at which they are demonstrably competent interferes with the patient’s access to optimal care.
Approved by the Board of Directors: May 2023