Ross Kessler, MD Instructor, Emergency Medicine rokessle@med.umich.edu

Ross Kessler, MD
Instructor, Emergency Medicine
rokessle@med.umich.edu

You serve as the Co-Director of Clinical Ultrasound for the Emergency Medicine Department. Tell us a little bit about that role…

I am fortunate to work with other talented clinical ultrasound faculty, Nik Theyyunni and Rob Huang, to oversee the clinical ultrasound program in the emergency department at the University of Michigan. Responsibilities of the position include the curriculum development and education of all emergency medicine residents, clinical ultrasound fellows, and pediatric emergency medicine fellows in the practice of bedside ultrasound. Together, we promote the use of diagnostic and procedural bedside ultrasound to improve patient care and safety, and provide quality assurance for the studies performed in the emergency department. In addition, I am actively involved in the development of a curriculum to integrate ultrasound into medical student education. Beyond the clinical benefits of ultrasound training, medical educators have recognized that ultrasound can be a powerful adjunct in teaching the anatomic, physiologic, and pathologic concepts of the preclinical years. 

How do you see ultrasound being utilized when it comes to advancing critical care?

The use of clinical ultrasound is essential to the management of the critically ill patient, especially in the undifferentiated patient presenting in shock. Bedside ultrasound provides invaluable information to diagnose acute life-threatening conditions and guide invasive procedures. Ultrasound allows real-time evaluation of a patient’s disease process, including cardiac dysfunction, lung pathology,  and intravascular volume status. To deliver the highest quality and most advanced critical care, we consistently integrate ultrasound into the management of critically ill patients to guide resuscitation. In the future, we hope to develop automated, non-invasive ultrasound technology that provides continuous hemodynamic monitoring in our patients in shock. 

You are also responsible for the critical care ultrasound curriculum for the aeromedical transport program. What does that entail?

In order to improve the care of our critically ill patients, and in accordance with our mission to create the future of emergency care, we decided to teach Survival Flight, the University of Michigan’s medical transport flight nursing staff, the basic skills necessary to provide clinical ultrasound for patients during transport. Through didactic and hands on training, the flight nurses were trained utilizing portable ultrasound machines in the core critical care ultrasound applications. With the support of the emergency department and the enthusiasm of the flight nurses, nearly every nurse has passed a competency exam and is approved to carry and use portable ultrasound in the management of our most critically ill patients being transferred to the University of Michigan.  

The weather is really starting to get nice out there. Do you have any favorite warm weather activities in Ann Arbor?

I am still getting used to these Ann Arbor winters and am really looking forward to the warm weather. I enjoy taking walks to the farmer’s market or going to one of the playgrounds or parks with my wife and two small children. I am hoping to explore northern Michigan and all it has to offer this summer.