Last week, physicians, sonographers, scientists, and educators from across the country and around the world left New York City and the AIUM Annual Convention to return home. They left with new contacts, tips, tricks, techniques, research, technology, and information that will help them improve patient care. If you were unable to attend, or if you want to relive another amazing AIUM Annual Convention, here are the highlights as well as a summary of attendee feedback.
- SonoSlam—In its inaugural year, this student competition had 16 teams sign up to compete for the Peter Arger Cup. This year’s winning team, “Baby Don’t Hertz Me,” hails from The Ohio State University. Plans are already underway to increase this event next year.
- Awesome Plenary—The ballroom was packed for the Opening Plenary session that featured an engaging talk by Alfred Abuhamad, MD, titled, “Global Maternal Health: Ultrasound and Access to Care.” Attendees also heard from William J. Fry Memorial Lecturer Dirk Timmerman, MD, PhD, FRCOG, on “Tips and Tricks of Successfully Ultrasound Studies.”
- Sold-out Exhibit Hall—Spread over two floors, this year’s exhibit hall featured a wide variety of companies that collectively addressed nearly every ultrasound need. This year several exhibitors offered great deals and amazing drawings.
- Ultrasound for Every Specialty—Attendees raved about the mix of specialty sessions throughout the Annual Convention. In fact, this year the content included sessions from 18 different ultrasound specialties.
- Award Winners—AIUM was proud to recognize the following award winners (look for upcoming blog posts from these individuals):
- Alfred Abuhamad, MD—Joseph H. Holmes Clinical Pioneer Award
- Michael Kolios, PhD—Joseph H. Holmes Basic Science Award
- Christian Fox, MD, RDMS—Peter Arger Excellence in Medical Student Education Award
- Daniel Merton, BS, RDMS—Distinguished Sonographer Award
- Aris Papageorghiou, MD—Honorary Fellow
- Paul Sidhu, BSc, MBBS, MRCP, FRCR—Honorary Fellow
- Social Media—This year was by far the most active year for #AIUM16 on social media. On Twitter alone there were double the number of impressions over last year, with nearly 500 people participating.
- E-poster winners—Every year, the AIUM supports an e-poster program. This year, the winners were (look for upcoming videos from them):
- First place:A Comparison Of Different Hydrophones In High Intensity Ultrasound Pressure Measurements by Yunbo Liu and Keith Wear
- Second place: Sonographic Evaluation of Ligaments and Tendons of the Hands by Jonelle M. Thomas, Cristy Gustas, and Dylan Simmons.
- Third place: Can You Give Me a Hand? Diagnosing and Understanding the Clinical Significance of Fetal Hand Anomalies in Obstetric Ultrasound by Karen Oh, Thomas Gibson, Kathryn Snyder, Ryan Meek, and Roya Sohaey.
- Honorable Mention: The Neck is More than the Thyroid Alone: 3-D Ultrasound of Cervical Lymph Nodes, Salivary, and Parathyroid Glands, Palpable/Visible Abnormalities by Susan Judith Frank, David Gutman, and Tova Koenigsberg.
- Up and Comers—AIUM recognized 4 outstanding papers in its New Investigator Program.
- Basic Science Winner: Aiguo Han for Structure Function for Quantitative Ultrasound Tissue Characterization
- Clinical Ultrasound Winner: Margaret Dziadosz for Uterocervical Angle: A Novel Ultrasound Marker to Predict Spontaneous Preterm Birth
- Honorable Mention: Mahdi Bayat for Comb-Push Shear Elastography on a Clinical Ultrasound Machine: First Report on Differentiation of Breast Masses
- Honorable Mention: Xueqing Cheng for Effect of Percutaneous Ultrasound-Guided Subacromial Bursography With Microbubbles for Assessment of Rotator Cuff Tears
We know that everyone has their own highlights from this event. If you want to share yours, please do so on Twitter @AIUM_Ultrasound.
The AIUM Annual Convention is the largest event supported by the organization. As such, we realize that while most things go well and according to plan, some do not. Here then is
the feedback attendees have shared with the AIUM.
- 94% said overall the Convention was Good or Excellent. This was the same as the past 2 years.
- 56% of attendees said the registration and pre-registration process was Good or Excellent.
- Nearly 90% of attendees said they would make at least some modification to how they practice ultrasound as a result of what they learned at the AIUM Annual Convention. This was up from the 70% that said the same last year.
- 96% of attendees said they would recommend the AIUM Annual Convention to a colleague. Again, this was an increase over last year’s 91%.
- 91% of attendees said the AIUM Convention was either on par or better than other ultrasound courses/events they have attended. This is another increase over last year’s 90%
- More than 80% of attendees said it was highly likely they would attend another AIUM Annual Convention.
As for the areas that need more attention and work, here is where the pain points were:
- Elevators—Some floors experienced long wait times for elevators. Several attendees expressed frustration at having to make choices based on how long the elevator would take. We completely understand and all hotel-related comments will be shared with the hotel staff.
- Cost—This continues to be an issue and is one that the AIUM Executive Committee is taking very seriously. The AIUM is exploring a number of models and programs to help reduce the cost of attending this event.
- Overlap of sessions—Many attendees shared that sessions they wanted to attend were overlapping. With such a diverse offering of sessions, this is bound to happen to some extent. This year, the AIUM did record all the lectures. We will be making them some of them available through the online communities and other available for CME credit. These videos will be released over the next couple of months.
- Technological issues—Some presentations experienced technical difficulties. Much of this was related to the fact that our service provider was operating a newer version of software than most of our presenters were using. In the future, the AIUM will share that information with presenters in an effort to reduce these issues.
Despite some of the hiccups, most attendees spoke glowingly of the 2016 AIUM Annual Convention. Here is just a sampling of the comments we received:
- “The courses were excellent in OB/GYN — all fantastic!!!”
- “Excellent sessions, great speakers, tremendous choice”
- “The 30-minute lectures; presentation of cases. Lunch was great! Loved the special sessions.”
- “I was very impressed with the content, subject matter, and quality of the presentations of the conference. I’d never planned to come to AIUM before and came only because it was close to where I practice. I will be back!”
- “I am new to this field so was just excited to hear all the exciting work going on. I liked the size of the convention in general.”
- “Seems culture is changing to become more welcoming of new ideas and collaborative.”
- “The opportunity to learn ultrasound from multiple specialties with their different areas of focus and expertise. Courses run by speakers from multiple specialties provided different insights and perspectives.”
- “Great people involved, SonoSlam was super fun, I enjoyed several of the didactic sessions.”
- “The hands-on fetal echo course with Dr. Solomon was excellent. Wish I could work with her for several weeks.”
- “I really liked that this conference could bring together many disciplines. I like the way the format was laid out by interest. Worked very, very well.”
The great thing about the Annual Convention is that we all learn. Attendees learn tips, techniques and resources that help them succeed and the AIUM learns how it can make this event even better. While the 2016 Annual Convention is over, we are already hard at work on the 2017 Annual Convention that will be held March 25-29 in Orlando.
Did you attend this year’s event? If so, share your thoughts and feedback. Going next year? Let us know what you want to learn! Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.
Peter Magnuson is AIUM’s Director of Communications and Member Services.