Interdisciplinary Education and Training in MSK Ultrasound

In my primary specialty of occupational medicine there is a need for practical education in musculoskeletal ultrasound for both diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic interventional guidance. Incorporation of this into education has begun recently and is continuing in the specialty. A wide variety of specialties are represented in occupational medicine, including many specialists who move into the field after a mid-career transition.

Interestingly, over the last few years clinicians have approached me and asked me to help them learn musculoskeletal ultrasound from many different disciplines outside of occupational medicine. These have included emergency medicine, orthopedics, rheumatology, sports medicine, family medicine, radiology, palliative care, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. When inquiring into why these clinicians are seeking training in this modality it seems that the consistent answer is thdr-sayeedat medical students are graduating and insisting on using ultrasound in their residency training. It would seem that many of our medical students are learning ultrasound at a rate that will outpace attending physician knowledge, exposure, and experience. Indeed, when teaching ultrasound to many of the medical students at West Virginia University as part of their medical education, I was astounded to see how proficient they were at using the machine, the transducer, and correctly identifying both normal and pathologic anatomy. It’s my understanding that many universities have included medical ultrasound into the academic curricula as a bridge to their respective gross anatomy courses and in their general clinical medical education.

Ultrasound is a modality utilized by many medical specialties for various indications. Several specialties outside of radiology, including the ones above, utilize ultrasound. Increasingly, residency programs are integrating ultrasound into their ACGME-accredited curriculum and, importantly, medical students are also learning the benefits of using the modality. It seems clear that despite the number of pitfalls, hurdles, and difficulties using ultrasound, the modality has proven to be an asset in clinical settings and has become a permanent fixture in hospital and clinical settings. The benefits of utilizing ultrasound have been well documented across many academic medical journals. I believe that medicine, as a whole, has done well to embrace the modality, however, there seems to be another vital step to take in the education arena to more fully integrate the modality into our patient’s care.

Currently, most education models for teaching ultrasound, whether it is for residents or medical students, involves grouping like kind together. Emergency residents learn it in the emergency medicine didactics. Physical medicine and rehabilitation (PM&R) residents learn it from demonstrations in their own didactics, and so on. Perhaps approaching the curriculum from a more inclusive perspective, however, would be more beneficial for residents and fellows. I, personally, had experience teaching an integrated musculoskeletal course at West Virginia University. The idea, admittedly, was born out of necessity. Physicians experienced in ultrasound from sports medicine, emergency medicine and occupational medicine created and executed a curriculum to teach musculoskeletal ultrasound and invited residents from other specialties. The interest we were able to garner quite frankly surprised me. Although the curriculum was targeted to occupational medicine residents the interest in using musculoskeletal ultrasound was widespread. Residents from specialties like emergency medicine, radiology, family medicine, internal medicine, and orthopedics attended our sessions.

While the course was a success, introducing an integrated curriculum across medical specialties posed a new set of challenges. My specialty was able to use dedicated didactic time for the education but many other specialties have disparate educational time. Many residents could not make all of the sessions and many more could not make any sessions because of fixed residency schedules. This makes coordination very difficult. As I have pondered this over the last few months I believe that educational leaders should begin to form structured educational collaborative time for activities like education in musculoskeletal ultrasound. Each discipline will be able to contribute to teaching to ensure high quality evidence-based curriculum for residents learning ultrasound. Each discipline has their individual strengths and collaboration ensures coordination and even learning amongst instructors. Integrating medicine has been a goal of thought leaders in medicine at the very highest levels and can be replicated for the instruction and training of our resident physicians.

Another option is to allow residents to attend the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine’s annual conference where interdisciplinary education in ultrasound occurs. This conference even has a day for collegial competition among medical students and schools. In fact, the courses are created to encourage engagement in the education and training of clinicians at all levels of training. The overall goal is to advance the education and training in this modality and hope that education leaders begin to encourage collaboration in a much larger scale thus achieving integrated medical care that provides a building block to lead to high quality evidence-based medical care for our patients, families, and communities.

What other areas of ultrasound education have room to grow? How would you recommend making changes? Do you have any stories from your own education to share? Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.

Yusef Sayeed, MD, MPH, MEng, CPH, is a Fellow at Deuk Spine Institute, Melbourne, FL.

FOAMed Made Me A Better Lecturer

My glossy, relentless smile slowly began to sag. My enthusiasm waned. I asked myself, “Why are you even here?

Although that was the first time I actually asked the question, truth be told, it had been germinating in my brain for the past few months.FullSizeRender

It was during one particularly bland and unprepared lecture in my first year of medical school when I found it nearly impossible to read the deluge of text on the PowerPoint slide and listen to the speaker. Not only was I quickly losing interest, but the speaker appeared to be caught off guard by the content of his own slides.  The phrase “Why did I put that in this slide?” was uttered over and over again. Unfortunately, my despair was not limited to this one professor or this one lecture. In fact, getting a good lecture was more outlier than standard.

It was at that moment I decided to stop attending lectures. I figured since the speakers gave me access to their slides and all they were doing in class was reading the slides, I could stay at home and do just as well. As validation for this theory, my grades improved.

Shortly after graduating medical school, I was asked to give my first lecture as an intern. What did I do? I created a PowerPoint with bullets. That lecture went over about as well as those medical school lectures did: horribly.

While the content was acceptable, the presentation wasn’t engaging, and worst of all, it was boring. I found myself perpetuating the cycle and becoming a part of the problem rather than a solution.

For my next lecture, instead of focusing on the required content, I focused on my audience. Luckily I had a group of mentors who had grappled with this so I began to study not only the content of their lectures but also how they lectured.

Soon after, I discovered podcasts and the #FOAMed (Free Open Access Medical Education) movement. Inexplicably, I found I could watch an entire 20-minute talk online without checking my phone. For someone with the attention span of a small bird, this was no small feat.

I tried to emulate what I had been learning and observing for my next talk, and when I gave my next lecture to the residents, I found they were spending less time on their phones and computers and more time engaged in my lecture. After that experience, I immediately asked for more opportunities to lecture because I knew the only way to improve was to do more of them. While the residency was very accommodating, they were only able to give me a lecture every couple of months, and I needed more.

Since I couldn’t give lectures to our residents as frequently as I desired, I thought maybe I could practice on my computer. Initially, I figured I could record a few lectures and put them on YouTube. But the more I thought about it, the more I wasn’t sure this is how I wanted to distribute my content. I always got distracted when I went on YouTube. I would start looking for ultrasound videos and then somehow end up watching an hour of compilations of cats falling asleep and rollerbladers falling.

That’s when I thought about creating a website. I wanted a place where I could upload all of my lectures in an easy-to-navigate format, with minimal distractions. I remember reading somewhere that the average student attention span was approximately 10 minutes, so decided I was going to try and make my videos 5 minutes long to increase the likelihood that people would actually watch the whole video. That’s where 5-minute sono was born.

Eventually I purchased a USB microphone and paid for good screen capture software and began recording. Initially I wanted to focus on purely instructional videos without any mention of the evidence or current literature. This made it much easier to keep my content as short as possible, with the long-term plan to create a podcast where I could talk about literature as much as I wanted. Setting up a website to look good and work seamlessly is very difficult. Thankfully the ultrasound director where I went to residency is kind of a genius on that front. There have definitely been a few hiccups along the way, but overall the experience of been pretty amazing. This has taken a tremendous amount of work, but viewership has been steadily increasing, which is encouraging.  I still have a large amount of instructional 5-minute sono videos to create, but decided to start introducing more literature reviews in the form of a blog and podcasts. Soon I’ll begin my faculty position at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Department of Emergency Medicine, and anticipate I’ll be able to lecture to the residents to my heart’s content. But that won’t stop me from continuing the steady stream of ultrasound instructional videos and supporting the FOAMed movement.

How do you make your talks more engaging? What are your favorite FOAMed resources? Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.

Jacob Avila, MD, is Co-fellowship and Ultrasound Director, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga, Tennessee. To check out some of his FOAMed material, visit 5 Min Sono.

Kindred Spirits

The Peter H. Arger, MD, Excellence in Medical Student Education Award honors an AIUM member whose outstanding contributions to the development of medical ultrasound education warrant special merit. At the 2016 AIUM Annual Convention, John Christian Fox, MD, RDMS, FACEP, FAAEM, FAIUM, was presented with this award. Here’s what he had to say about this honor and the future of medical ultrasound education.

J Christian Fox 1

What does it mean to you to be named the recipient of the Peter H. Arger Excellence in Medical Student Education Award winner?

After I did some research about Dr Arger and spoke with others who know him well, I began to realize that he and I are kindred spirits. Even though we are from different generations and different specialties, we are actually very much aligned. His work in the 1990s, while disruptive at the time, paved the way for multi-specialty performance of quality ultrasound examinations through practice accreditation. Furthermore, he initiated the Endowment for Education and Research (EER) which had a tremendous impact on ultrasound in medical education. From this fund, the AIUM was able to finance the highly successful 2nd Annual Dean’s Forum on Ultrasound in Medical Education held at UC Irvine in June 2015. Specifically, EER provided support to bring deans from more than 40 medical schools to my campus where we broke into small groups and developed a 4-year curriculum of ultrasound in medical education.

Why have you volunteered so much of your time to the AIUM?

When I was a fellow in emergency ultrasound in 2001, I first heard about the AIUM and flew down to Orlando to check out the annual meeting. We kicked off the emergency ultrasound section with a small group of people and from that early experience I was struck by how people from various specialties would do their best to check their politics at the door and get to work on what our combined passion was: Ultrasound. The point-of-care ultrasound revolution that ensued would never have happened in my opinion if it wasn’t for the multi-specialty collaboration that AIUM so vehemently catalyzes. While we may be facing local battles, once we put that AIUM badge around our necks, everyone is great at collaborating in the name of research and education rather than engaging in politics. Maybe that sounds a bit rosy for some reading this but it’s my honest assessment of what brings me back to the AIUM year after year! Where else can I go to see world-class multi-specialty ultrasound research? So many cool projects have come from ideas that were created during these sessions. Where else can I learn from international masters teaching me the nuances of the art of ultrasound?

What do you see as the biggest barrier(s) to having ultrasound integrated into the medical education curriculum?

It’s funny because these barriers are not static. Initially I saw a lot of people struggling to justify ultrasound’s role in the curriculum. It takes a few deep discussions, and even some hands-on scanning, to get the Deans to reframe their concept of ultrasound. Well, now that’s ancient history (like 2 years ago) and now we face other burdens. I get the sense the Deans are frothing now to not be the last school to incorporate this, and now they need to find the cash and prizes. They need the funding to support the curriculum administratively and they need to get machines and simulation all dialed in. That’s no simple task as you can imagine, but they are Deans and that’s their job – to fund initiatives that have the most impact on the curriculum.

Tell us a little about your TED talk experience.

Oh it was intense. Hardest thing I’ve ever done for sure. As much as I’m kind of a ham and love public speaking, this was very difficult for me. I had to really get out of my comfort zone and become a perfectionist. Lots of rules, which required weekly meetings with my two coaches. One was helping me perfect the content while the other was working on my performance. Every sentence has to land perfectly. Too much pressure to put on someone who is more of a big picture kinda person than a detail-oriented person. But all that being said, it stands as my proudest speaking moment.

Who is your mentor and why?

I’ve had so many mentors over the years it’s really hard to answer this question because I firmly believe that mentorship relationships should really form organically, and not be assigned or they lack authenticity. I’ll start with my residency director who later became my Chair, Mark Langdorf. He single-handedly taught me emergency medicine and then gave me the idea to do an ultrasound fellowship. I remember packing my moving truck, and wondering to myself exactly why I was moving from Laguna Beach to Chicago but his guidance proved critical. Then my fellowship director Mike Lambert is the guy who I really sync’d up with and spent a ton of time emulating his laid back approach to life and work. To this day, every time I’m around him, my blood pressure drops. But what he taught me was the importance of image quality and instilled in me a love, or an obsession really, for all things piezoelectric. The other mentor that really helped shape my approach to edutainment and social media is not one person but a duo. It’s the ultrasoundpodcast.com guys Mike Mallin and Matt Dawson. I really look up to them and what they’ve done for point-of-care and their tenacity to keep all their content (books and media) Free and Open Access Medical Education (FOAM).

Cadaver Lab Isn’t Just for First Years

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Credit: Rob Swatski

Of all the things people say they remember learning in medical school, the location and function of the sartorius muscle is usually not one of them. For me, I can still see the muscle lying diagonally across the dissected thigh—small but purposeful, leaving me to wonder how this tiny thing so miraculously and perfectly made it from one side of the leg to the other through evolution and use.

This memory is representative of how thought-provoking and educational cadaveric dissection was for me as a novice clinician. The sight of the
cadaver on the gurney, along with the smells, the noises, and the presence of a real human being in front of me, were my first clinical experiences of bedside learning from a patient, and it had a significant effect on me.

Despite living in the digital age where extraordinary feats in medical technology have occurred over such a short period of time, cadavers remain a fundamental part of medical education. Training and educating students with human cadavers is not just a pedagogical exercise. Cadaveric dissection emphasizes understanding of a structure’s spatial orientation and function, but perhaps more importantly, it provides a contextual environment that differs from rote memorization that often accompanies anatomical learning. Additionally, cadaveric education has gained wider importance at the post-graduate level as a training element for surgical and emergent ultrasound-guided procedures.

Dr. Demetrios Demetriades, Chief of Trauma and Surgical Intensive Care at Los Angeles County Medical Center in Los Angeles, understood the value of this type of training, and in 2006 worked with the County of Los Angeles to create a cadaveric procedural training lab for post-graduate trainees. The lab was designed to be used by residents and fellows for procedural education, practice, and anatomical dissection. There is a dedicated, full-time staff that includes a perfusionist, a technical assistant, and an administrative team through the Department of Surgery. The lab is used 2 to 3 times a day by various surgical specialties, anesthesia, and the emergency medicine residency, which includes our ultrasound division. The emergency ultrasound division uses the lab once a month to train residents and ultrasound fellows how to perform various point-of-care ultrasound-guided procedures, such as ultrasound-guided central and peripheral line placement.

Unlike other simulation modalities such as gel phantoms, human tissue phantoms, or simulators, performing ultrasound-guided procedures in the cadaver lab allows the trainee to have the tactile experience, where (s)he is touching skin, performing the procedure, and using real procedural tools on human tissue. The importance of this from a training and educational standpoint is that the trainee is in a controlled setting, has time to reflect upon the learning as it occurs, can discuss procedural technique openly with the attending, and can perform the procedure repeatedly in a safe environment.

For emergency medicine providers, the impact of using the procedural cadaver lab for ultrasound-guided procedures and anatomical learning cannot be underestimated. John James (2013) estimated that more than 400,000 deaths occurred in a 3-year span due to medical errors in the hospital setting, making it the third leading cause of death in the U.S. The conditions by which we practice our specialty are always under the auspices of being emergent. Although it has been well documented that ultrasound makes care safer and more efficient, ultrasound as a modality warrants the same practice and repetition as the procedures it provides assistance to. The cadaver lab provides this exposure to openly learn in an inaugural fashion and by one’s mistakes. It seems fitting, then, to make the cadaver lab a more central part of medical education—a place we can come back to on a regular basis as we learn and improve our skill.  Just think of the memories we’ll make.

What learning experience had the most impact on you? What other experiences should we ensure continue? Have a cadaver lab story to share? Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.

Tarina Lee Kang, MD, is Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine and Division Chief of Emergency Medicine Ultrasound at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.

I’m Tired of Falling Asleep During Lectures

I remember the first test I failed. It was an immunology exam that I took about halfway through my first year of medical school. Seeking some solace, I asked a classmate for advice. His snarky response was, “Why don’t you try NOT sleeping through the class?”

sleeping in classHe did have a point, but I couldn’t help it. The professor was so incredibly boring. I couldn’t understand why he would spend so long talking about a study performed decades ago involving injecting mice with bacteria. How would this make me a good doctor?

I quickly found the solution to my problem: I had to stop going to class. Imagine that? The best way for me to get a medical education was NOT attending the courses–at least this particular course. It turns out I learned a lot better reading by the pool in sunny Southern California than in that big lecture hall. I soon discovered that many of my classmates were doing the same thing. Some read the textbooks at home or at a coffee shop. Some bought entirely different textbooks on the same subject. Some bought audio tapes for a particular subject. Of course some did prefer the classroom. In the end, we all passed.

Spending 4 years in college and 4 more in medical school makes you extremely sensitive to the lecturer’s delivery of the material. We spend years sitting in large groups in dark rooms quietly listening to someone on some stage talking at us. These days, most lecturers are reading off slides and within the first minute, you know what you’ve got yourself into.

Why do we subject our learners to someone standing behind a podium reading slides for an hour? Why do we think this works? Most likely it’s because very few people know there is a better way of doing things.

Our ultrasound instructor in medical school, Dr Chris Fox, likes to talk about “flipping the classroom.” Prior to our ultrasound didactics, he would give us access to an online podcast for the scanning technique of the day. We could watch it in pieces or all at once and we could watch it at any time and however many times we wanted. Best of all, we could pause, rewind and fast forward. We would then show up for a brief lecture consisting of a 5- to 10-minute review of the podcast where we could ask questions. Then we split up into groups to practice scanning.

That’s what I call efficient. And fun.

I’m now in charge of teaching my co-residents the same ultrasound skills I learned in medical school. Problem is, I don’t have a podcast series of lectures. In fact, I started with no lectures at all. Truth is, I could have devoted hours creating engaging, interesting, and effective PowerPoint slides. But, why should I reinvent the wheel when colleagues of mine from around the world have already developed these presentations? If I could use those, then I could focus on what I do best, which is teach the hands-on components.

Thank goodness for FOAM (Free Online Access Meducation). The term was coined in 2012 in the emergency medicine community and Life in the Fastlane has a whole page dedicated to its history and explanation.

Essentially, FOAM is a growing movement to provide high-quality and FREE medical education materials online for anyone to use. It’s a dream come true for any educator. Time to give a lecture? You could spend hours throwing together 60 slides for a lecture, but somebody else has already done it, and they’re REALLY good at it. Let them teach the lecture so you can use your time to practice and reinforce. Whether it’s an ultrasound technique or reviewing how to work up and treat chest pain, the principle is the same.

For me, using FOAM to teach residents is a lifesaver. Walking a learner through the machine and the exam technique comes natural to those with experience. Putting together a presentation to introduce it all to a big group requires time that I don’t always have. Plus, my proficiency in PowerPoint is limited and producing high-quality videos and images with overlaid anatomy takes considerable time, assuming you know how to do it.

Many of us know about FOAM resources already, probably just not the name. The Ultrasound Podcast is a fantastic resource with educational videos and challenges. There is also a smartphone app called One Minute Ultrasound for Apple and Android phones, which is a great on-the-go resource. The American Academy of Emergency Medicine (ACEP) runs Sonoguide.com with a whole host of resources. Another great resource is Sonomojo.org, which is a collection of FOAM resources for ultrasound. AIUM offers free resources and practice guidelines as well as teaching tools for members.

So let’s stop putting our students to sleep and start engaging them on their own terms. Give them the resources then use your time more effectively to get practical and work on procedural skills or problem solving. FOAM is there to guide the way.

How do you make your presentations engaging? Do you use any FOAM resources with teaching? If so, have you found it useful? Have questions about the future of FOAM? Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.

David Flick is a 3rd year family medicine resident at Tripler Army Medical Center. He received 4 years of ultrasound training at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine. He currently runs the resident ultrasound curriculum and is an outspoken proponent for ultrasound training in the primary care specialties.

 

AIUM Annual Convention Rocks NYC

aium16Last 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.

The Highlights

  • SonoSlamsonoslamIn 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 epostere-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 Feedback

The AIUM Annual Convention is the largest event supported by the organization. full sessionAs 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.

The Praise

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.

 

Life Hacks for the 2016 AIUM Annual Convention

The 2016 AIUM Annual Convention is less than a week away. Although it was about six months ago that we opened registration, that time just cruised by much too quickly. We here at the AIUM office just said goodbye to the truck full of convention goodies. Next time we see all that stuff, we will be in New York City.

For those meeting us there, here is what you need to know.

  1. Plan Now.

Final_Program-cover
If you haven’t started planning, what are you waiting for? The Program book and proceedings are online now so get busy.

  1. Get Slammed.

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AIUM is proud and excited to host its inaugural SonoSlam student competition. Teams from medical schools from across the country are competing for bragging rights and the Peter Arger Cup. If you have time, come check it out on Thursday, March 17.

  1. Speaking of Thursday, March 17…

st pat
Yep, it’s St. Patrick’s Day. And in New York City that means there is a parade. If you are coming in that day or trying to get around please allow yourself extra time. The parade starts at 11:00 AM.

  1. Give Me Internet.

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There will be complimentary internet access on the exhibit hall floor. Select “Hilton Meeting Room Wifi” and enter code AIUM16. This only works on the exhibit hall floor.

  1. Now Get Social.

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Follow and participate in all the action by using#AIUM16. We will be on Periscope, live tweeting the event, and sharing photos and videos.

  1. Stay Informed.

email
In addition to social media, the AIUM will be sending a daily eblast to all Convention registrants letting them know of any room changes and sharing the next day’s highlights. Keep a look out!

  1. Get Your Ribbons.

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You might notice that getting your Convention ribbons will be a bit different this year. While some might be in your materials, the AIUM has created a ribbon station where you can select those that pertain to you.

  1. Cases Go Digital.

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One of the most popular aspects of the AIUM Annual Convention is the Case-of-the-day Challenge. This year you will find these on dedicated computer kiosks on the Exhibit Hall Floor! Test your diagnostic skills!

  1. Run, For Fun

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Join us on Friday, March 18 and Saturday, March 19 for a group run. Meet in the hotel lobby at 5:45 AM. Runners will leave promptly at 6:00 AM. Just one more way to see the city—plus you can network with fellow runners. All abilities welcomed!

We can’t wait to see you in New York City! Don’t forget to tag and share #AIUM16 on all your social media platforms.