Obstetrics and Gynecology, Obstetric Ultrasound (Minnesota)


This elective rotation is designed for the fourth year medical student seriously interested in pursuing a career in obstetrics and gynecology. This rotation should provide an experience comparable to a month of obstetric sonography, during which the student will function under the supervision of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Sonographic Consultant. This rotation provides an intense experience in prenatal diagnostic techniques for evaluation of aneuploidy, birth defects and fetal well-being. Most of the teaching will be one-on-one with the Consultant. The student will be responsible for making arrangements for his/her elective rotation with the Consultant; this arrangement should be made several months ahead of time.

Specific goals

  1. To learn to participate as an integral part of the high-risk obstetrical ultrasound service.
  2. To refine history taking and sonographic skills.
  3. To formulate a detailed differential diagnosis base on sonographic findings.
  4. To learn techniques for screening and diagnostic evaluation of aneuploidy and birth defects.
  5. To learn the best management of common sonographic problems encountered during pregnancy.
  6. To learn the management of complications resulting from invasive testing procedures.
  7. To learn the development of an ongoing help plan for complicated obstetrical patients.

Relational goals

  1. To demonstrate the close working relationship between the Maternal Fetal Medicine provider and other consultative and ancillary services.
  2. To understand how clinical research trials are integrated into clinical practice.
  3. To understand the Mayo Clinic Perinatal Diagnostic Center approved by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine.

Activity outline


  • Understand the principles and physics of obstetric ultrasound.
  • Describe the use of ultrasound to establish dating criteria in pregnancy.
  • Understand and begin to use ultrasound to find the structures reported on 1st through 3rd trimester obstetric examinations.
  • Understand the normal anatomy that can be seen on obstetric ultrasound.
  • Understand the sonographic findings and implications of the more commonly noted fetal anomalies seen during an obstetric ultrasound.
  • Understand the sonographic markers used for evaluation of aneuploidy.
  • Understand the components of fetal well-being noted by ultrasound.
  • Understand the utility of Doppler assessment and its uses during pregnancy.
  • Participate in the evaluation of inpatient and outpatient ultrasound consultations with the attending physician.
  • Perform history and physical examinations, radiologic and laboratory review along with plan development on assigned patients on the Ultrasound Service.
  • Review workups with the appropriate consultant and perform and document an appropriate history and physical on all assigned patients.
  • Review literature appropriate for the obstetrical, medical or surgical conditions of the patient and her baby.
  • Learn obstetrical procedures for prenatal diagnosis and antepartum intervention.
  • Acquire procedural skills through use of the Amniocentesis and PUBS trainers.
  • Be available for all procedures performed by the Service.
  • Review appropriate laboratory and pathology.


  • Attend and participate in all obstetrical conferences and AM rounds.
  • Present cases and papers to peers for educational purposes.
  • Maintain good communication with the Consultant senior or chief residents, patients, and family members to discuss progress and problems.
  • At all times maintain the highest standards of integrity, efficiency, and dependability will on the service.
  • The student should wear a name tag at all times.
  • Absences should be scheduled prior to the rotation.

Method of evaluation

The Maternal Fetal Medicine Consultants will evaluate the student's performance of the listed Learning Objectives. They will provide formative verbal feedback to the student halfway through the rotation, and summative feedback/evaluation, verbal and written, at the end. The course director, Dr. Brost, will collate the written evaluations and provide a summary for the student.