W. Charles O'Neill, MD
Professor of Medicine and Physiology
Director, Renal Ultrasonography

Renal Division Home




The renal ultrasonography program at Emory began in January, 1994. Since then, over 5900 ultrasound studies have been performed and over 40 clinical fellows have been trained. Currently, approximately 100 studies are performed each month. The following types of examinations are performed:

Formal, comprehensive training is incorporated into the Nephrology Fellowship Training Program. Fellows rotate through the ultrasound service for several months, performing all the studies under faculty supervision, and then participating in the interpretation and generation of reports. The number and type of all studies performed by each fellow are recorded and fellows receive certificates documenting their training and experience in ultrasonography.




There are many reasons why you should incorporate ultrasonography into your practice. These include:





The foolowing is a list of recent publications from our division:

Reprints are available by mail:

W. Charles O'Neill, M.D.
Renal Division, Emory University
WMB 338
1639 Pierce Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30322

or email:



Training in ultrasonography entails both learning how to scan patients and learning how to interpret studies. Although these are distinct components of ultrasonography, they are interelated. One must be a competent scanner in order to interpret studies and the best studies are ones in which interpretation was done during the scanning. Thus one cannot learn renal sonography solely from books, other teaching aids, or lectures; there must be hands-on training involving real patients with actual pathology. The Renal Division at Emory University School of Medicine sponsors a range of hands-on training events, often in conjunction with national nephrology organizations. These are designed specifically for nephrologists, and are the only programs devoted specifically to renal ultrasonography.

Introductory hands-on workshops. These are short sessions given at national meetings to introduce nephrologists to ultrasonography. They include some hands-on practice scanning but are not training courses and should not be construed as such.

Upcoming workshops:

Comprehensive training courses. These are CME-accredited, comprehensive 2-day courses that cover all aspects of ultrasonography for nephrologists including diagnostic imaging of native kidneys and allografts, percutaneous biopsy of native kidneys and allografts, end-stage kidneys, bladder, ultrasound guidance for venous access, as well as coding, billing, reporting, and equipment. No prior training or experience required. Course description.

Upcoming courses (future courses are scheduled as needed. Please contact the CME office 1-888-727-5695 to be placed on the waiting list) :

View brochure

Registration: 1-888-727-5695

Preregistration is required for all courses. Space is very limited so early registration is strongly encouraged.

Since we cannot accomodate extra attendees, there is no on-site registration. If you do not have a confirmation from the CME office, you are not registered. If unsure, please call the above number.


Minifellowships in renal sonography. These 5-day programs run from Monday-Friday and prior attendance of a formal training course is a prerequisite. Only one trainee is taken each week and he/she joins the ultrasound service, performing ultrasound studies. Fellows will also participate in the daily reading and generation of reports, operation of the database, coding, and billing. An extensive teaching file is available for study. Opportunities to participate in general nephrology rounds, and transplant nephrology rounds are also available.

Minifellowship information


Teaching materials.

View sample cases and ordering information.

On-site training and consultation. On-site consultation to help you get started, advice on equipment, training, etc., is available from Kevin Rooker at Professional Ultrasound Imaging:




A basic abdominal ultrasound unit with one, maybe two, probes is all that is needed. These can generally be obtained for around $30,000 - 35,000. More detailed information about equipment is provided in the training courses, and equipment from many of the companies listed below is available for use at the courses and hands-on workshops. Many companies market appropriate machines in this price range and some of them are listed below. Please mention our website to them when you contact them.


Cerification in renal ultrasonography is now available through the American Society of Diagnostic and Interventional Nephrology. Guidelines and application form are the available on that website. The Ultrasonography for Nephrologists course satisfies the didactic requirements for this certification. The course together with a one-week minifellowship will satisfy the requirement of 80 supervised studies. Certification requires an additional 45 studies to be performed and interpreted. These do not necessarily need to be supervised and can be performed at your location (but documentation is required). If you wish to fulfill all the requirements at Emory, three weeks of minifellowship would be required. ASDIN also offers accreditation for training programs.



Here at Emory we use a specially designed database to enter data, generate reports and billings, and do followup and quality assurance. This database has been essential to our operation and saves a tremendous amount of time. It generates forms for ultrasound of native kidneys, transplant kidneys, bladder, renal biopsy and has pop-up lists that allows you to quickly enter patient data, ICD codes, CPT codes, and findings onto the reports. It also enables you to quickly enter followup data. A database such as this will save you hours and hours of time and hassle and will be indispensable for the documentation that will be required for accreditation.

More information on the database

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