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Michael Smith

Dr Michael Smith

Senior Lecturer: Physiotherapy

School of Healthcare Sciences


On both national and international stages I provide pan-profession leadership on the use of ultrasound imaging in healthcare, with a particular emphasis on point of care ultrasound (PoCUS).

A primary area of activity is working with different professions, specialities and healthcare systems to develop robust and sustainable solutions to their use of PoCUS. Central to this is application of the PoCUS triangle approach that I developed, whereby the interrelated elements of (i) scope of practice, (ii) education & competency and (iii) governance are defined and aligned. Drawing upon my wide-ranging expertise in this field, each solution is bespoke to the particular requirements and context of the 'end user' profession, speciality or healthcare system. Some examples of recent or current work include:

  • Proposals (in the publication I lead authored in the journal 'Anaesthesia'1) for the development of Covid-19 related lung ultrasound workforces in the early stages of the global pandemic. This has led to my ongoing involvement with critical care and emergency medicine use of PoCUS in the UK, North America, Latin America, Africa and Asia.
  • I am leading the development of ultrasound imaging guidelines for Physiotherapists in the UK; specialities include lung / critical care, pelvic health, ultrasound guided neurotoxin in spasticity and musculoskeletal disorders.
  • I am supporting with development of guidelines for the use of ultrasound imaging in areas as diverse as Podiatry, Speech and Language Therapy and Veterinary Medicine.

If you would like to discuss how I can support the consolidation or expansion of use of PoCUS by your profession, speciality or healthcare system then feel free to contact me at

In addition to the above work streams I contribute my expertise to career ultrasound imaging, including its interface with PoCUS. Notable examples include:

  • I initiated the process of the professional body 'Chartered Society of Physiotherapists' (CSP; and their 53,000 members) becoming a member of the Consortium Accreditation Sonographic Education (CASE; the UK, cross-profession organisation for sonographic education scrutiny). As well as being a longstanding committee member of CASE (representing the CSP), I led on a 'Health Education England' funded project to undertake a once-in-a-generation review of CASE's approach to accreditation. This has wide-ranging implications across sonographic specialities of vascular, obstetric / gynaecology, abdominal, small parts and musculoskeletal imaging.  
  • I am a long standing committee member of the British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS), contributing to their Professional Standards, Education and PoCUS work streams. I have previously been involved with initiatives around development of the UK Sonography career frameworks for career imaging, including application for protection of the title 'Sonographer'. I am currently contributing to the Royal College of Radiology (RCR) and BMUS working group to update core RCR documents at the Radiology / PoCUS interface: 'Focused ultrasound training standards' and 'Ultrasound training recommendations for medical and surgical specialties'.
  • I am supporting an initiative on journal article writing between BMUS and the journal 'Sonography' as part of a collaboration with the Australasian Sonographers Association. I am also an expert reviewer for an initiative on behalf of the European Federation of Societies for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (EFSUMB). This involves scrutinising the evidence base for various emergency medicine PoCUS applications in the areas of echocardiography and lung ultrasound, leading to the provision of clinical practice guidance.

Examples of my wider involvement with ultrasound imaging in healthcare include:

  • Engagement with media outlets in supporting wider awareness of the expanding role of ultrasound imaging in healthcare; this has included organisations such as Reuters, the BBC and ITV Wales. I have also been an expert reviewer for scrutinising technology applications to government bodies such as 'Health Technology Wales'.

1 'Point-of-care lung ultrasound in patients with COVID-19 – a narrative review'; elements translated into 5 different languages, over 100 full paper citations and in the top 0.1% (for attention) of all outputs (>17M) ever tracked by Altmetric.

















Book sections

  • Sparkes, V. and Smith, M. 2010. Function of the upper limb. In: Everett, A. and Kell, C. eds. Human Movement: an Introductory Text. 6th ed.. Physiotherapy Essentials Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier, pp. 155-170.






I have led laboratory and clinic based research as a Chief Investigator under single and multi-centre ethical approvals. My clinical research combined diagnostic ultrasound imaging with the management of shoulder disorders. This includes my £170,000 Fellowship from Arthritis Research UK where I explored prognostic factors relating to the management of patients with subacromial impingement / rotator cuff tendinopathy.


I have a unique skillset and professional profile:

  • I am dual-qualified as both an assessing/treating clinician and an ultrasound imaging professional:
    • As a qualified physiotherapist (BSc(Hons) and MSc(Physiotherapy)) I have worked in a range of clinical specialities; and went on to specialise in musculoskeletal disorders. In the UK, physiotherapists have high level clinical and patient management autonomy.
    • I completed my CASE-accredited, post-graduate certificate (PgC) in medical ultrasound which included approximately 18 months experience in Radiology departments.
  • I have extensive experience of the Higher Education (HE) / University sector:
    • I have designed material, taught and assessed at undergraduate and postgraduate level for over a decade; and have management responsibilities as a year lead. Through my work with CASE I influence HE provision across all major sonography specialities.
  • I have extensive research experience:
    • Following on from various laboratory and clinic-based data collection projects, I previously secured a £170,000 fellowship by Arthritis Research UK to undertake my PhD study looking at prognostic indicators in shoulder rehabilitation.
    • In parallel I have been a previous recipient of a fellowship from the British Elbow and Shoulder Society (BESS) and for several years was a research committee member for the European Society for Shoulder and Elbow Rehabilitation (EUSSER).

I am passionate about the highest standards of sonography education and clinical practice. This commitment is the cornerstone of my work with both point of care ultrasound (PoCUS) and career imaging.

Professional memberships

I am a member of the CSP (Chartered Society of Physiotherapists), British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS) and a Fellow of the HEA (Higher Education Academy)