The Scan has been a home for all things ultrasound, from accreditation to zoos, since its debut 5 years ago, on February 6, 2015.
In its first 5 years, the Scan has seen exponential growth, in large part due to the hard work of our 110 writers, who have volunteered their time to provide the 134 posts that are available on this anniversary. And it all began with Why Not Start? by Peter Magnuson, the AIUM’s Director of Communications and Member Services, who spearheaded the blog’s development.
In honor of this 5th Anniversary, here are some of your favorites:
From the moment you stepped foot inside the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort, you knew this was going to be a different kind of AIUM Convention. Maybe it was the new venue. Maybe it was all the new offerings. Maybe it was the excitement about connecting and reconnecting with colleagues from around the world.
Whatever it was, it caused a buzz in Orlando.
If you were in Orlando, we hope you felt the same. If you were unable to make it this year, here are a few of the highlights (you can see and learn even more if you search #AIUM19 on your favorite social media site):
New Offerings—Each year, the AIUM and the Annual Convention Committee look to enhance and improve the event. This year was no exception. To get the juices flowing, attendees could participate in a morning exercise class that varied each day. We added the Recharge Lounge where attendees could relax and charge up their devices. We partnered with the International Contrast Ultrasound Society on a one-day educational event. And we enhanced the Meet-the-Professor sessions.
SonoSlam—In its fourth year, 24 teams battled it out for the coveted Peter Arger Cup. The University of Connecticut’s team, PoCUS Maximus, came out on top–and defended their title! Save the date for next year—March 21 in New York City! Big thanks to headline sponsor Canon.
The Buzz in Orlando
Social Media—From Instagram to Twitter to Facebook, Convention attendees were very active on social media at #AIUM19. And, for the first time, there was a takeover! Kristy Le, a recent RDMS graduate, took the reigns of our social accounts to give her perspective on the AIUM Convention! Search #AIUM19 to get her take!
Networking–It’s not an AIUM event if there isn’t networking. This year there were even more opportunities to make new contacts and reconnect with colleagues from around the world. From the morning workouts to the Presidential Reception. From Community meetings to the Welcome Reception. From the intimate Meet-the-Professor sessions to the Exhibit Hall breaks. You almost couldn’t help but expand your network.
Global Plenary—AIUM PresidentBrian Coley, MD, hosted the Plenary session that featured a lecture on reducing workplace injuries fromKevin D. Evans, PhD, RT, RDMS, RVS, FSDMS, FAIUM, Professor at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. This talk launched a series of sessions and events at the AIUM Convention that focused on ergonomics. The entire Plenary Session is available on the AIUM Facebook Page.
Fun Activities—Not only was #AIUM19 educational, it was also fun. This year attendees could participate in morning exercise classes (yoga, jogging, bootcamp); do a scavenger hunt with the AIUM app (Congrats to Julie Abe, MD, from Brazil for winning the free #AIUM2020 registration); collect specialty-specific buttons (Congrats to Joanne Richards, RT, RDMS, RT on winning the smartwatch for collecting at least 15 buttons); and participate in Industry Symposia.
Sold-out Exhibit Hall—This year’s exhibit hall was the most exciting and active it has ever been. There were more new companies at this year’s event than ever, making the exhibit hall vibrant and exciting! New product releases, special offers, and cool giveaways created a buzz we haven’t seen in years. Plus, there was cake! Thanks to all the exhibitors!
Award Winners—The AIUM was proud to recognize the following award winners (look for upcoming blog posts and/or videos from some of these individuals):
Up and Comers—In addition to our national awards, the AIUM also recognizes its New Investigators. This year’s winners and runners-up are:
Basic Science Winner—Viktor Bollen, Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Chicago for “A Comparison Of Thrombus Dissolution Efficacy With Single And Multiple-Cycle Histotripsy Pulses In Vitro.” Runner-Up–Lakshmanan Sannachi, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physical Sciences, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre for “Quantitative Ultrasound Texture-Derivative Methods Combined with Advanced Machine-Learning for Therapy Response Prediction: Method Development and Evaluation.”
Clinical Ultrasound Winner—Misun Hwang, MD, Assistant Professor of Radiology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania for “Quantitative Detection of Brain Injury with Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound in Neonates and Infants.” Runner-Up–Michal Fishel Bartal, Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellow, McGovern Medical School, University of Texas at Houston (UTHealth) for “Validation of 3D Power Doppler Volume Analysis in Patients with 2D Ultrasound Suspected Morbidly Adherent Placenta.”
Convention attendees say that the reason they attend this event is because of the multi-specialty nature of the AIUM. This event brings together physicians, sonographers, scientists, students, and others from at least 20 specialties–all focused on medical ultrasound! No other event–or professional society–does this. To all of those who joined us in Orlando, thanks and we hope you were able to take back some contacts, a lot of information, and resources to improve patient care. For everyone else, we hope to see you in New York City for AIUM2020.
If you will be joining us in Orlando for the 2019 AIUM Convention, here are a few things you can do to get the most out of your experience:
Register to attend the 2019 AIUM Convention, the meeting for medical ultrasound, if you haven’t done so already. You have the choice of registering for the whole convention or selecting a 1-day registration, which is available for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Up to 7 CME credits can be earned for each 1-day registration, for a total of up to 28 credits!
GET THE APP
Before and during the convention, use the app to plan your schedule, read about sessions, take notes, learn about exhibitors, and engage with other attendees. To keep on top of all things #AIUM19, download the eventScribe app now:
(1) Download eventScribe
(2) Find our event by searching 2019 AIUM Convention
Then, check out the quick video tutorials on how to get the most out of the app.
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek and Waldorf Astoria Orlando are approximately 18 miles from Orlando International Airport (MCO), which offers information on multiple forms oftransportation. The hotels also offer complimentary transportation to Disney® theme parks. For the current shuttle schedule, access the Bonnet Shuttlewebsite, visit the front desk, or call the hotel at 407-597-3600.
Each morning of the main convention, at 6:30 am, join us for a bit of fitness to start your day.
Sunday: Morning Run (meet in the Hilton Lobby)
Monday: Yoga (meet in the Bonnet Creek Pavilion on the Ground Level)
Tuesday: Morning Run (meet in the Hilton Lobby)
Wednesday: Boot Camp (meet in the Bonnet Creek Pavilion on the Ground Level)
New this year: Power Hour Lunch. This year you have the opportunity to attend sessions during lunch. Grab a bite in the Exhibit Hall and keep the learning going!
GET A 1ST LOOK AT NEW PRODUCTS
Visit the Exhibit Hall to see the following new products:
While you’re in the Exhibit Hall, check out MEDNAX in booth 504 to learn about career opportunities for radiologists and maternal-fetal medicine specialists. And stop by the ARDMS (booth 228) to pick up one of their “world-famous” pizza cutters.
GET SOME REST
Need to relax? Need to charge your cell phone? Do both at the new Recharge Lounge, located just outside the Exhibit Hall.
Throughout the convention, we have scattered buttons, each representing 1 of the 20 AIUM specialty-focused communities. Collect all of the communities! If you collect at least 15, you can enter a drawing to win a smartwatch.
If you are feeling a bit peckish, stop by the Exhibit Hall or the Foyer just outside of it to grab some refreshments.
On July 12, 2018, 4 teams of 4 sonography students each competed in the inaugural SonoBowl, a game pitting the students’ ultrasound knowledge and skills against each other. Howard Community College (HCC) hosted the event, which the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) sponsored, and teams from Howard Community College; Montgomery College; Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences; and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County participated. Although only 4 students from each team could participate, many more attended to observe.
SonoBowl teams: HCC Sound Dragons are in red (as is their dragon), UMBC Dopplergangers are in black, PA Penguins are in white (4 in front), and MC Ultrasonic are in white (middle and back rows). AIUM staff are in blue.
If you are interested in hosting your own SonoBowl, you’re in luck. AIUM will be sharing instructions on recreating it, enabling schools around the country and abroad to create their own SonoBowl, where sonography students can come together to compete in ultrasound with question-and-answer sessions, scanning, and case challenges. The following is a review of the inaugural SonoBowl. If you want all of the details, you’ll need a copy of the SonoBowl Playbook. If you are interested in receiving a copy of the SonoBowl Playbook, please let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org). AIUM members can access it here: https://www.aium.org/loginrequired/membersonly/sonobowl.aspx.
HCC and AIUM worked together to quickly pull this event together in just 2 months, including 6 conference calls and meetings—planning the itinerary, developing questions and case challenges, inviting teams and registering them, and setting up the event. Development began in May and concluded with the event, which included:
Round 1, Who Gives a Kahoot?: 30 multiple-choice questions and 1 bonus multiple-choice question on Kahoots;
Round 2, Mission I’m Possible: 3 rounds of scanning testing vascular, obstetric, and abdominal knowledge; and
Round 3, Have You Hertz About My Case Study?: A case challenge.
Round 1 was a question-and-answer session. Each team was supplied (by HCC) with a tablet to use for answering the questions as quickly as they could, as wins were based on speed as well as accuracy. The questions were developed by AIUM with input from Directors and faculty from the schools.
Round 2, which can be seen in this video, was a hands-on demonstration of the students’ skills. The teams were given 15 minutes at each station, equipped with an ultrasound machine and a model, to complete their task and answer the questions, which were provided on a form in an envelope and could be completed on a provided clipboard. A proctor at each station reviewed the image obtained for the task and indicated on the form whether it was correct and whether the answers to the question were each correct. After 15 minutes, the teams would rotate stations until all teams had competed at each station.
For those students who attended but were not participating, a scavenger hunt was developed to fill this time. The students were randomly divided into 4 teams, each of which included students from each of the schools. Each team was given a campus map and a list hinting at 15 things to find around the campus. They were tasked with answering questions for some and taking a selfie at each to prove they found them. For example, one such hint was “Orange is definitely your color! Take a selfie with your face in the circle,” referring to a sculpture outside one of the buildings. Once Round 2 was complete, a lunch was provided.
Round 3 began with an announcement of where each team stood in the competition; HCC DMS Sound Dragons were in 4th place with 58 points, MC Ultrasonic was in 3rd with 66 points, and UMBC Dopplergangers and PA Penguins were tied with 74 points each. Knowing how many points they had and the topic of the case study (gynecologic ultrasound), each team then indicated how many points they were willing to wager for the final round. All teams wagered their full points balance.
The teams were given a brief history for a case and shown the ultrasound images associated with it, then were given 1 minute to indicate which of 4 diagnoses was the correct one. After time was up, each team was asked to show their wager, beginning with the last place team, and the scores were adjusted based on their wager and whether they answered correctly. For this inaugural SonoBowl, MC Ultrasonic won the day with 132 points and was awarded the trophy to hold onto until next year’s SonoBowl, when it will be back up for grabs. Each of the winning team’s members also won a free AIUM student membership for a year and an insulated lunch bag containing AIUM gifts.
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine is a multidisciplinary medical association of more than 9000 physicians, sonographers, scientists, students, and other health care providers. Established in the early 1950s, the AIUM is dedicated to advancing the safe and effective use of ultrasound in medicine through professional and public education, research, development of guidelines, and accreditation.
Last week a near-record 1,500 physicians, sonographers, scientists, students, and educators from across the country and around the world gathered in New York City to network, share, and learn. It was, by all accounts, one of the biggest and best AIUM Conventions yet!
What it made so great? A variety of educational opportunities covering a wide range of topics addressing at least 19 different specialties is just the start. More interaction across disciplines to share techniques, more hands-on learning labs, new product releases, and collaborative learning events added to the excitement and collegiality.
If you were in New York City, we hope you shared your feedback in the follow-up surveys. If you were unable to make it this year, here are a few of the highlights:
New Offerings—As if putting on the AIUM Convention weren’t enough, we decided to make a host of changes. We doubled the number of hands-on learning labs (most sold out), we added the more intimate Meet-the-Professor sessions (again, most sold out), we enhanced networking by adding exhibit hall receptions, we brought back the mobile app to make navigating the event easier, and we invited our corporate partners to host Industry Symposia, which included education, networking, and food. Whew!
SonoSlam—In its third year, a record number of medical schools (21) sent teams to compete for the coveted Peter Arger Cup. This year’s winning team, F.A.S.T. and Furious, is from the University of Connecticut. They competed last year and had so much fun they returned and were triumphant! Save the date for next year—April 6. Big thanks to headline sponsor CoapTech.
Global Plenary—AIUM President Brian Coley, MD, hosted the Plenary session that featured a lecture on global health from John Lawrence, MD, President of the Board of Directors for Doctors Without Borders-USA. This was followed by Roberto Romero, MD DMedSci, who presented the William J. Fry Memorial Lecture on ultrasound imaging and computational methods to improve the diagnosis and care of pregnant women and their unborn children. The entire Plenary Session is available on the AIUM Facebook Page.
Social Media—This year was the most active social media convention ever for the AIUM. From streaming live videos on Facebook to more than 754 individuals participating and sharing on Twitter (a 50% increase over last year), the social media scene was active and engaging.
Fun Activities—Not only was #AIUM18 educational, it was also fun. This year attendees could participate in a morning jog through Central Park; do a scavenger hunt with the AIUM app (Congrats to Offir Ben-David, RDMS, from Stamford, CT, and Jefferson Svengsouk, MD, MBA, RDMS, from Rochester, NY, for winning prizes by completing the scavenger hunt); network during 3 different AIUM receptions and the new Industry Symposia; and win prizes at the AIUM booth (Congrats to Jenna Rothblat who won a free 2019 AIUM Convention registration).
Sold-out Exhibit Hall—This year’s exhibit hall was the most exciting and active it has ever been. At least 3 companies unveiled new ultrasound machines and several others shared their insights with live video feeds. Combine that with networking receptions and New York street fare at lunchtime, and the exhibit hall was always the place to be.
Award Winners—AIUM was proud to recognize the following award winners (look for upcoming blog posts and videos from some of these individuals):
E-poster winners—Every year, the AIUM supports an e-poster program. This year, a record number of abstracts were submitted and the AIUM recognized the following e-poster winners:
First place, Basic Science: Construction and Characterization of an Economical PVDF Membrane Hydrophone for Medical Ultrasound, presented by Yunbo Liu, PhD, from the FDA, Silver Spring, MD.
First place, Education: Investigation into the Role of Novel Anthropomorphic Breast Ultrasound Phantoms in Radiology Resident Education, presented by Donald Tradup, RDMS, RT, from Mayo Clinic-Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center-Department of Radiology, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland.
First place, Clinical Science: Sonography of Pediatric Superficial Lumps and Bumps: Illustrative Examples from Head to Toe presented by Anmol Bansal, MD, Mount Sinai Hospital, Icahn School of Medicine.
Second place, Basic Science: Strain Rate Imaging for Visualization of Mechanical Contraction, presented by Martin V. Andersen, MS, from Duke University.
Second place, Education: Sonography in Internal Medicine, Baseline Assessment (MGH SIMBA Study), presented by Tommy Heyne, MD, MSt, Massachusetts General Hospital-Department of Internal Medicine and Department of Emergency Medicine.
Second place, Clinical Science: Serial Cervical Consistency Index Measurements and Prediction of Preterm Birth < 34 Weeks in Twin Pregnancies, presented by Vasilica Stratulat, CRGS, ARDMS, MD, Sunnybrook Health Sciences.
Up and Comers—In addition to our national awards and our eposter winners, the AIUM also recognizes its New Investigators, which this year were sponsored by Canon.
Winner— Ivan M. Rosado-Mendez, PhD, for “Quantitative Ultrasound Assessment of Neurotoxicity of Anesthetics in the Young Rhesus Macaque Brain.”
Winner— Ping Gong, PhD, for “Ultra-Sensitive Microvessel Imaging for Breast Tumors: Initial Experiences.”
Juvenal Ormachea, MS, for “Reverberant Shear Wave Elastography: Implementation and Feasibility Studies.”
Kathryn Lupez, MD, for “Goal Directed Echo and Cardiac Biomarker Prediction of 5-Day Clinical Deterioration in Pulmonary Embolism.”
Plan View the full program online and, to keep on top of all things #AIUM18, download the eventScribe app now from the Apple store or Google Play store and search for AIUM 2018. Before and during the convention, use the app to plan your schedule, read about sessions, take notes, learn about exhibitors, and engage with other attendees.
Go Travel to the convention via plane, train, or automobile. The hotel, New York Hilton Midtown, is located on Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave) between West 53rd and West 54th Streets. To get to the hotel from 1 of the 3 nearby airports, or Grand Central Station, Penn Station, or Port Authority, which are all within approximately 20 minutes of the hotel, you can take a taxi or rideshare service. To get around the city, walk or take the subway, a taxi, or a rideshare.
Two preconvention postgraduate courses will be offered on Saturday, March 24. Additional fees apply.
We doubled the number of hands-on Learning Labs. Our Learning Labs provide an up-close and personal learning experience while earning CME credit.
Learn from leading ultrasound experts in small group settings in Meet-the-Professor sessions. There are a dozen Meet-the-Professor events to choose from. Each comes with lunch. Separate registration fee is required. If you haven’t registered, act quickly because more than half the sessions are sold out.
The AIUM has added 2 networking receptions to the Convention schedule. Plan to meet up with colleagues, explore the latest technology, and ask questions you may have during these cocktail and hors-d’oeuvre events on the Exhibit Hall floor.
The AIUM received a record number of research abstracts for the 2018 AIUM Convention. This research will be shared by AIUM’s new investigators, abstract presenters, and e-poster submitters throughout the event.
Community and Interest Group Meetings: Meet with other ultrasound professionals who share your interests, plan future AIUM educational programs, and discuss the issues in your specialty.
Exercise Start your day off with some exercise: join your colleagues and AIUM staff each morning from 6:30–7:15 am for a 3-mile run/walk around New York City’s Central Park. You’ll meet up in the Main Lobby at 6:30.
Hunt Join the Scavenger Hunt at the convention: download the eventScribe app (search AIUM18) to get started on your chance to win one of several prizes that will be awarded upon completion of the game. A grand prize winner will be announced Tuesday afternoon.
CME Earn up to 6.5 CME credits during the Preconvention and 29.5 CME credits during the Convention.
ARRT Earn up to 6.5 ARRT credits during the Preconvention and 29.5 ARRT credits during the Convention.
SAMs The American Board of Radiology (ABR) has approved 7 Self-Assessment Modules (SAMs) activities from our upcoming 2018 Convention.
UGRA One session at the Preconvention and 8 sessions at the Convention have been added to the UGRA Portfolio program’s course offerings.
Please note that although the AIUM provides CME certificates to those who have participated in an AIUM educational activity, the AIUM does not submit credits to regulating bodies or certifying organizations on behalf of the participant. It is the participant’s responsibility to submit proof of credits on his or her own behalf.
When you’re not attending the convention, check out some of what New York has to offer. Here is a short list of just a small portion of what is out there, including museums, parks, iconic buildings, and more. And, don’t forget to check out minus5° in the hotel’s lobby, where everything in the bar is made of ice, including the glasses.
If 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!
For more information about SonoSlam or if you are interested in getting involved please email us: email@example.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.
The AIUM is a unique organization of professionals passionate about the capabilities and potential of ultrasound to help our patients. With the annual convention freshly over, and a long list of things to work on for next year, I’ve been thinking about the AIUM and why it’s an important group for me.
Although the AIUM is not the primary organization for any of us, that’s what is special and interesting about the AIUM. We all belong to our separate subspecialty interest groups, our tribes, where there is familiarity and comfort in being surrounded by people who are like us, and do what we do, and think like we do. But what other society do you belong to that has the mix of medical and surgical specialties, sonographers, scientists, residents, students, and industry partners? The AIUM’s 19 communities and interest groups cover a diversity of interests and practices and bring people together that in the “real world” of our day-to-day work may find themselves at odds with each other.
And that’s the challenge of the AIUM: to be our best and fulfill our mission of providing the best ultrasound imaging care to our patients means that we have to set aside (at least in part and as best that we can) issues of money, politics, and ego.
This is not always easy.
The world around us is often not encouraging toward cooperation and service to ideals greater than immediate self-interests.
But that’s what AIUM members try to do. Even if it isn’t easy.
If you attended the recent convention in Orlando, I hope that you spent some time attending sessions or talking to people from outside your main area of interest. That’s an opportunity that you just can’t get at other meetings: to exchange ideas and excitement, to challenge and provoke, and ultimately a chance to learn and advance both personally and as medical professionals.
Similarly, the next time you pick up a copy of the Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, read an article in an area that you don’t practice. Even if you can’t appreciate the nuances, appreciate the creativity of the work and the varied applications of ultrasound in medicine. There are a lot of bright people out there doing cool things. I would especially recommend reading the basic science articles. The technology, instrumentation, and techniques that we take for granted come from here. You may not fully grasp them any more than I do, but this is where the big leaps are going to come from, and it’s good to know what could be just over the horizon.
I hope that you’ll get as much out of the AIUM as I have over the years. I hope that you’ll step out of your comfort zone and talk with people from other disciplines and interests. I hope that you’ll ask questions and get involved. I hope that the AIUM helps you learn and grow, and that you will help the AIUM to figure out how to do that well. If we can do this together, then we and our patients will be the better for it.
What about your AIUM membership do you find most valuable? How do you benefit from the diversity of medical specialties within the AIUM? Comment below or let us know on Twitter:@AIUM_Ultrasound.
Brian Coley, MD, AIUM President (2017–2019), is radiologist-in-chief and the Frederic N. Silverman chair for pediatric radiology at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, as well as professor of radiology and pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.
One of my favorite “demotivational” posters says: “MEETINGS, none of us is dumb as all of us.” Except, in the case of working on an AIUM committee, that poster could not be further from the truth.
Not. Even. Close!
The opportunity to participate on an AIUM committee is both a privilege and a learning opportunity. I have so enjoyed the chance to serve on a committee, and would like to take this time to let you know what you can expect if you were to become a committee member.
The AIUM committees meet in person once a year at the Annual Convention, and then work by conference call and email during the rest of the year. Naturally, the biggest flurry of activity comes in the weeks preceding the Convention.
At that time, the committee chair or AIUM staff liaison will e-mail the minutes from the previous meeting to all the members. When the minutes arrive in our inbox, it is a reminder for us to check and see if we actually completed the assignments we were given at the last meeting!
Ideally, we would have completed them soon after the conclusion of the meeting, but hey, we are human! For many of us, the previous minutes are a reminder that we still have some work to do!
While we are working fast and furious to complete last year’s assignments, there is also a call for new business. When the liaison is notified of new business, he or she sends the information out to the members for review.
Aside from completing assigned tasks from the previous year, reading the new documentation prior to a committee meeting is probably the most important thing a committee member should do. In order to have meaningful discussion and/or resolution of the issues, the members must be informed and prepared to contribute to the conversation.
On the day of the meeting things run probably like all committees everywhere. We follow Robert’s Rules of Order when conducting business. (OK…only kind of-sort of—does anyone really know all of Robert’s rules?) The committee moves line by line on the agenda. Sometimes one topic may take 2 hours of conversation, and other times, we may move through the items much more expediently. All topics are important, and each gets the time and attention it deserves.
One thing that happens as we move through the agenda is, we ask each other to think about what the next steps might be. In some cases, people will volunteer to write something, look up old data, or reach out and solicit expert opinions from a field of study.
In some instances, some issues are too complex for the full committee to tackle them…a case of too many chefs spoil the soup. A subcommittee may be formed instead. Smaller groups are better suited to break the complex issue down into smaller parts, and then each person can work on a single task. When the work is complete, a more cohesive approach to the problem can be presented to the larger group.
Subcommittee work, like all committee work is voluntary. No one is expected to participate in every single facet of a committee, but in the spirit of shared governance, everyone should commit to serve in some manner.
And then you have the super committee members, who in spite of having a demanding career, they still manage to defy expectations and volunteer for everything and come through with outstanding levels of productivity! You have to realize they have superhero powers that most of us do not have, so you cannot compare yourself to them. If you can participate in a fair share of committee work, contribute your expertise, and be prepared for meetings, then you are exactly who an AIUM committee needs!
At the meeting’s conclusion, we all take our assignments for the next year, and ideally start working on them when we get home. This year the Bioeffects Committee has scheduled a mid-year conference call, and that will help those of us with assignments stay on task and pace our work. It will also be a nice time to catch up and converse with friends. Oh, I guess I forgot to mention, when you do committee work, you not only gain new colleagues, but also friends and even new mentors.
If you are interested in serving on a committee, my best recommendation is to match your talents and interests with a committee or a subcommittee that needs your expertise. That way, the work will seem more like fun, and the entire AIUM membership benefits from your contributions.
What have you learned from volunteering? What did you like or dislike? Would like to contribute to the AIUM? Comment below or let us know on Twitter: @AIUM_Ultrasound.
Jennifer Bagley, MPH, RDMS, RVT, is an associate professor for the College of Allied Health at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Schusterman Campus in Tulsa. She currently serves on the AIUM Bioeffects Committee and is a former member of the Technical Standards Committee.