I Enjoy Being a Detective

I chose the specialty of radiology, and subsequently diagnostic ultrasound, because I enjoy the “detective” aspect of medicine. It is exciting to use diagnostic imaging to attempt to determine the cause of a patient’s illness. Obstetrical ultrasound has been of interest because most pregnant patients are healthy and happy and one always got an answer, whether right or wrong, 20-30 weeks hence.

I began my career in ultrasound in 1976 joining Dr. Roy Filly at UCSF. He and I are still practicing (perhaps the longest pair in academic medicine). The early days of arguing whether it was better to view images as white on a black background or black on a white background and whether static articulated arm scanning was better than “real-time scanning” are long gone, replaced by incredible technology.

Peter CallenThe pitfalls of image analysis has been a curiosity of mine. I have always been intrigued as to how one looks at a series of images and achieves the right (or occasionally wrong) conclusion. I am thrilled that most medical centers are introducing diagnostic ultrasound to medical student teaching early in their training. This has helped generate a lot of awareness and better understanding of our specialty. I am proud to have been a member of our organization, the AIUM. While there are some that only know the AIUM for its guidelines, it has served as a strong core of support for our specialty for the past several decades with support and advice to and from ultrasound professionals, including physicians, sonographers, scientists, engineers, other healthcare providers, and manufacturers of ultrasound equipment. This award is especially meaningful to me to be included with the true founders and leaders of our specialty.

What is your story? Why did you start using ultrasound? Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.

Dr Peter Callen received the 2015 Joseph H. Holmes Clinical Pioneer Award from the AIUM. Dr Callen’s contributions span decades and he is currently Emeritus Professor of Radiology, Obstetrics, and Gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco.

Why I Applied to be an AIUM Fellow

Working in an academic department, we are encouraged to become involved in the ultrasound community as well as keep abreast of the constantly changing field of sonography. After attending my first AIUM Annual Convention early in my career, I quickly realized that the AIUM was an organization in which I wanted to become more involved. The knowledge base was high and many of the members were and still are leaders in research, clinical work and patient care. It was confirmation that I make an impact on patient outcomes every time I pick up a transducer.

TBpixAs a reflection of that, I wanted to grow in my AIUM membership. I took the first step in 2005 when I applied for senior membership status, which I was happy and proud to be awarded in the spring of 2006. It took me several years to take the next step, but after meeting the membership requirements, I applied to be an AIUM Fellow. It was a great feeling when I was notified that I had joined the exclusive ranks of AIUM Fellow.

Going through this process was both a professional and personal goal. It was and is an honor to be individually recognized by my peers on both a national and international level.

For those of you interested, the overall application process was straightforward and didn’t take a lot of time to complete. It was pretty clear and straightforward. Plus, the AIUM staff was excellent in keeping me updated on the process and deadlines. There were definitely times when I needed a reminder.

We are all busy with our professional and personal lives; however, I am excited and proud to have taken the steps to illustrate to myself and my peers how much I value my career in ultrasound. I appreciate the AIUM for identifying the substantial effort ultrasound professionals put forth daily for the accurate diagnosis and safety of patients.

What’s your membership story? What accomplishment are you most proud of? Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.

Teresa Bieker, MBA, RT, RDMS, RVT, RDCS, FAIUM, is Lead Diagnostic Medical Sonographer at the University of Colorado Hospital.

Only 260 AIUM members have applied and been granted the distinction of being an AIUM Fellow.