Why I Attended AIUM’s MSK Course

In late 2014, I attended the AIUM MSK ultrasound course that was held at the USOC facilities in Colorado Springs. Why, you might ask? Well, here are four reasons I did.

  1. Focus—I do a lot of MSK ultrasound (I have my RMSK and my practice is AIUM accredited) but I do not see a lot of hand and wrist. Since the focus was going to be on upper extremity I felt that this would be a chance to get a good review of hand, wrist and elbow.
  2. USOCKiller faculty—Jay Smith, Lev Nazarian, Tony Bouffard and Jon Jacobson were all on the schedule. Combine them with a limited number of attendees and I knew I would get to interact with them on a more personal level.
  3. Great format—The way the content was structured really appealed to me. I like how we had a lecture, followed immediately by a live scan and then the ability to scan patients. It was excellent and really brought the lecture material right into practice.
  4. Location and price—I had never been to Colorado Springs, much less the Olympic training center. And when I looked at how focused the course was as well as the faculty, I felt the price was very reasonable—especially with the option of staying on site.

For me, the thing that stood out most at the course was getting an appreciation for scanning the scapholunate ligament (SLL). My scanning preceptor was very adept at showing us how to visualize the ligament and how to easily locate it. When I went back to the office and actually had an SLL injection, I was able to do it effectively and get my patient good relief.

I hope that if or when the AIUM does this course again, or another MSK course, they keep the number of participants limited and the topics varied. At some point, I think the course could become stratified so that whether you are at a beginner, intermediate or advanced level, you can participate and learn. Personally I’d like to see a course focusing on the hip and spine with injections.

All in all, given the hosts, the course faculty, the limited number of attendees and topic scope, the price and location, this was one of the best MSK ultrasound courses that I’ve attended.

What’s the best course you have attended? How can AIUM make its courses better? Have you heard about AIUM’s newest MSK Course? Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.

Amadeus Mason, MD, is Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery and Family Medicine at Emory Sports Medicine Center in Atlanta.

16 Years and Counting

Every year I look forward to February for a number of reasons. One is that I know spring in North Carolina is just around the corner. Another is that I know I will be escaping to Florida for a long weekend to attend my favorite ultrasound course, the AIUM Advanced Ultrasound Seminar: OB/GYN.

NC spring

Spring in North Carolina from http://www.visitnc.com.

I am a general OB/GYN and have been in practice in Durham, North Carolina, since 1998. I chose my current position because of its location, my family, and the chance to continue teaching OB/GYN residents.

In my early years as a resident educator, it was easy to teach the residents. But as time has passed and I have gotten busier, it seems that the residents have gotten smarter. They know about changes in protocols, new medications, new technology, and more. Therefore it is important for me to continue to educate myself through reading, listening, and attending courses.

I have always had an interest in ultrasound and received a great introduction to scanning as a resident at the Medial University of South Carolina in Charleston. My program directors put a strong emphasis on using ultrasound as a tool for caring for OB and GYN patients. So I probably have an interest in ultrasound beyond most generalists and I have enjoyed coming to the AIUM course since 1999.

One of the great things about the course is that it has adapted so well with the times. I remember the first 3D and 4D imaging that this course covered and how many questions people had about how they would be used. I remember discussions about whether an anatomy scan would be worthwhile and if insurance carriers would pay for it.

In the early years of the course there would be many long lectures about the frequency of X, the p values of certain markers, the RR of this thing or that thing, unreadable tables and presentations, and more. Recently, however, the course has become more evidence-based and clinically relevant for all participants. This has made the course even more worthwhile and shows that the enthusiastic and collegial faculty have dedicated their lives to medical ultrasound.

As we begin to move into fall and then winter, I start to long for February—for obvious reasons. I hope to see you in Florida.

Is there anything you have attended for more than a decade? What made it special? Have questions about the AIUM OB Course? Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.

Frank Frenduto, M.D., is a managing partner and a board member for the Women’s Health Alliance in Durham, NC. His special interests are high-risk pregnancies, laparoscopic surgery, and gynecologic ultrasound.