Obstetric ultrasound employs the use of diagnostic ultrasound to create real time images of the developing foetus. In pregnancy, ultrasound used in this manner yields information regarding the health and development of the pregnancy and is used to assess the health of the foetus and the mother. The non-ionising nature of ultrasound allows for detailed examination of pelvic organs and provides a medium for not only diagnosis but monitoring of gynaecological conditions.

After you have completed your training, there are opportunities to either work in the public system full-time and maintain normal office hours if this is what you’d like to do or alternatively work part-time.

The skills and interest you need to work in this field include:

  • Excellent communication skills and ability to deliver adverse findings in a compassionate manner
  • High level of empathy and understanding
  • Ability to work independently

Working in this subspecialty you are providing an expert opinion based on your diagnostic scanning to a colleague. Inevitably this means you need to be willing to give up some of the decision-making skills you have acquired as a specialist because you are providing scan results to other clinicians to assist them in managing their patients.

There are two training pathways to work in Obstetrical and Gynaecological Ultrasound. You can do this via the Australasian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine (ASUM) with a Diploma of Diagnostic Ultrasound (DDU) or Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) who offer a Certification in Obstetrical and Gynaecological Ultrasound (COGU). The ultrasound qualification is an additional three years of training via RANZCOG. The COGU pathway is not currently offered in WA so you would need to relocate to the east coast to complete training via this pathway.

To apply for DDU you must be in your final year of O&G advanced training and have passed all your core training and written and oral exams. As a DDU trainee you do 50% scanning and 50% clinical. The training programs require satisfactory completion of both written exams, completion of the requisite scan numbers and a final exit examination.

There are opportunities to work in both the public and private sector with the ability to be scanning full-time or combine this with a mix of obstetrical or gynaecological work.