The Rolling Sonograms

“Hold still and keep your eye shut tight,” I instructed, as I lathered my probe with gel and placed it carefully on my model’s left eye. Having just narrowly escaped the brink of elimination, we were riding a wave of momentum. The trophy was so close we could taste it, but the final round of SonoSlam 2017 was a real-time scan-off on model patients, and our opponents had already proven their skill. Having a live audience didn’t make imaging a pupillary reflex or calculating ejection fraction any easier, and we were feeling the heat.

The day began with scans on rotating stations testing basic knowledge and technique for various organ systems. We struggled with the hepatobiliary station (turns out most teams did over the course of the day; guess we all need more practice) and the physics/knowledge station (I still don’t know how Fourier functions are used to convert sinusoidal data to Cartesian data to produce an image). Still, we put in a strong showing, and at halftime, of 27 teams, 2 of the 3 Ohio State teams placed in the top 5.

P1170780

image1

Round 2 was trickier but more entertaining than round 1, with stations designed to test our technique and creativity. Among the highlights: identifying an image acquired by a teammate via ultrasound charades, guiding a blindfolded teammate to acquire the correct scan using nothing but verbal cues, and acquiring a biopsy sample under ultrasound guidance. These were difficult, but despite a few groans of frustration, we enjoyed ourselves as we raced through the stations. We felt so good about our performance that we even let ourselves think ahead, speculating whether we would face our teammates in the final. That changed quickly, however, with the announcement of the finalists: we had made the final, but placed third, and were the only OSU team left.

The first challenge of the finals was Dr. Boulger’s favorite ultrasound game, the peel-and-reveal. Tiles filling the screen are removed one by one until someone correctly guesses the image underneath, with more points awarded the more tiles remained. Any hesitation or uncertainty meant more points for the competition, and only the top 2 teams would survive till the second round. Watching the other teams grab an early lead, we sweated bullets as we clawed our way back, only to fall behind again with a premature guess. It was neck-and-neck till the very end, when a gutsy call of McConnell’s sign from Sam edged us into second place. We collapsed back into our chairs in relief, and our attendings, watching from the back, let out their collective breath, probably.

For the final challenge, each team sent a representative to scan on live models behind a closed curtain, with their screens displayed for the audience to see. Each team member had to scan twice, and the audience would vote on the better image by way of cheers and applause. They were also allowed to give advice to the scanners, which meant the auditorium soon became a pandemonium of shouted instructions. Objectives included cardiac output and bladder calculations, MSK ultrasound, and ocular imaging. This time we took the early lead thanks to Charles’ affinity for shoulder scans, but quickly ran into setbacks as well (hard to measure bladder volume when the patient had just peed). We managed to keep up our momentum, however, and after 6 nerve-wracking rounds, we edged our opponents 4-2, clinching the SonoSlam championship for Ohio State for the second time.

Looking back on the day’s events, I am proud of our team’s accomplishments but also impressed with the competition. We have great mentors and almost a decade of ultrasound experience between the 3 of us, but some of the other teams were no less strong, and frankly we were very fortunate to take home the title. To me, this means a bright future for ultrasound education, as medical students across the country are learning valuable skills that will put them in good stead for residency and beyond. More importantly, it means that next year’s teams will have to step up their game, as Ohio State must now defend its title as 2-time SonoSlam champion. No pressure, guys.

Have you participated in SomoSlam? If so, tell us about your experience. Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.

The 2017 SonoSlam champions, The Rolling Sonograms, was composed of Samatha King, Charles McCombs, and Jeffrey Yu. Samantha King is a fourth year medical student from the Ohio State University College of Medicine planning to pursue a career in emergency medicine. Charles McCombs is a third year medical student at the Ohio State University College of Medicine and hopes to end up in pediatrics and/or emergency medicine. Jeffrey Yu is an anesthesiology PGY-1 at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

The National Ultrasound Interest Group (NUSIG)

The National Ultrasound Interest Group (NUSIG) is a student-led organization founded in 2014 to promote ultrasound in undergraduate medical education. You may know us as the force behind planning national level events like SonoSlam. The bulk of NUSIG’s work, however, is sharing education and leadership resources between Ultrasound Interest Groups (USIGs) across the country. Each of the five regional representatives contact medical schools in their areas to exchange ideas, plan co-sponsored events, and see how NUSIG can assist them in evangelizing ultrasound.

SonoSlam_organizers

NUSIG provides everything from information on getting equipment and funding, to original educational content. Our podcast on iTunes (quickly closing on the 1,000 download mark) currently features a journal club series. Each episode is hosted by a different school evaluating an ultrasound-related article.

IMG_5405

Our next series is how to plan an Ultrafest, where we interview schools experienced in putting on these events. Our hope is that these USIGs can learn from each other, and other schools might be inspired to start their own UltraFest once it’s been laid out how. In the future, we aim to collect medical student level ultrasound lectures from across the country and publish them for anyone to view. Our vision is to serve as a central repository for the best medical student educational content available. Lastly, our twitter feed regularly features current ultrasound research articles and retweets outstanding free open access medical education content.

IMG_5401

If you want to learn more about us or get involved, check out our website at www.nationalusig.com, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook @NtlUSIG. You can find us on iTunes by searching for “NUSIG podcast.”

Are you a member of the National Ultrasound Interest Group? Did you attend this year’s SonoSlam? If so, share your thoughts and feedback. Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.

Mat Goebel is in charge of Social Media for the National Ultrasound Interest Group and is a medical student at the University of California at San Diego.

SonoSlam 2017

16SonoSlam_logoIf you attended the AIUM convention the past 2 years you may have heard mention of SonoSlam in passing. So what is it? SonoSlam is a medical student ultrasound competition and educational event. It was conceived as an idea to promote medical student ultrasound and was officially born in Orlando in 2015. A few members of the medical education committee were discussing how to get students more engaged in ultrasound at the national level. A national ultrasound student interest group had been formed and got behind the idea of nationalizing ultrasound activities for medical students. Many of us had been involved in regional events such as Ultrafest or had participated in Sonogames™, an emergency medicine resident ultrasound competition. As we brainstormed, SonoSlam came to fruition. We wanted this event to be more than a game, making sure to integrate education into the proceedings. Given the diversity of exposure to ultrasound in undergraduate medical education, the faculty wanted to ensure that this event would be appealing to students of all levels of experience. In addition, the unique offering of AIUM is that this event would be multidisciplinary. With these key components of education, competition, and a multidisciplinary approach SonoSlam was created. The inaugural SonoSlam was held in New York in 2016 with the winning team awarded the Peter Arger Cup, named after the famed radiologist who championed medical student ultrasound education at the AIUM. Seventeen teams from 12 different schools participated in this inaugural event with more than 30 faculty from across the country. This year in Orlando we grew to 23 teams from 17 schools from across the country—Oregon to New York to Florida and all in between. We had more than 50 faculty from a multitude of specialties, including emergency medicine, internal medicine, critical care, obstetrics and gynecology, radiology, and pediatrics. We plan to continue to host this event annually with the lofty goal of having representation from every medical school in the country. We hope to see you in New York March 24, 2018!

SonoSlam2017

For more information about SonoSlam or if you are interested in getting involved please email us: sonoslam@gmail.com.

Written by Creagh Boulger, Rachel Liu, and Dave Bahner. Creagh Boulger, MD, RDMS, FACEP, is Assistant Professor, Assistant Director of Ultrasound, and Assistant Fellowship Director of Emergency Ultrasound at Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Rachel Liu, BAO, MBBCh, is Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of Point-of-Care Ultrasound Education at Yale University School of Medicine. Dave Bahner, MD, RDMS, FAIUM, FAAEM, FACEP, is Professor and Director of Ultrasound, Fellowship Director, Investigator, and Core Faculty at Ohio State University.

How do you make ultrasound education engaging? Do you have any ideas for bringing students from across the country together? Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.

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.