Faculty Advisor(s)

Sheryl E. Goss



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Ultrasound (sonography) is a primary imaging modality predominantly used in the Diagnostic Radiology department to aid in the findings of internal pathological conditions. Sonography has been used for medical diagnosis since the early 1970’s; however, in comparison to other imaging modalities, it is relatively young and evolving. Since Ian Donald’s discovery in obstetrical ultrasound, there has been a significant growth in Maternal and Fetal Medicine as well as an explosion in the use of non-medical obstetrical imaging, better known as keepsake or entertainment ultrasound. Unlike all other imaging examinations, in obstetrics, family members accompany the patient for viewing where the sonographer can provide narrative on the fetal anatomic structures but not give a diagnosis. The sonographer does not interpret or make the diagnosis of the case, therefore they can not share any results with the patient. Ultrasound’s historical and progressive development of use, slow development of formal education, lack of requirement of national certification, and minimal research to support any bioeffects when used for medical purposes, stereotypes of what the role of ultrasound is and the role of the sonographer stereotypes are in existence. Derived from these stereotypes, a survey was designed to assess the public’s understanding and perception of diagnostic medical ultrasound and the role of the sonographer. The responses from the survey contradicted the researchers’ hypothesis; however, results indicate the opportunity to improve the public’s knowledge.

Publication Date


Document Type



Diagnostic Medical Sonography


Perception of Ultrasound, Public understanding, Stereotype, Sonography


Medicine and Health Sciences

The Public's Perception of Medical Ultrasound