SDMS’s Virtual Conference Was a Valuable Experience

The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) held its annual conference this year virtually, Sept. 25–27.

Presenters shared their expertise for educators, students, sonographers, and sonologists in the areas of Abdominal, OB/GYN, Vascular, and Cardiac specialties. Particular attention was called to patient-focused care: listening to and meeting patient needs and concerns while visually monitoring non-verbal communication in the course of performing studies.

Given their roles as expert witnesses along with the need to review studies and case documents, sonographers were described as often overworked. With short-staffed facilities seeing reduced exam times and increased patient volumes, the possibility of legal ramifications is apparent, leading to the idea that sonographers should have personal liability insurance. Facilities’ liability insurance covers only so much, and technologists can be named along with the facility in the event of lawsuits.

With COVID-19 taking a toll on the medical community and impacting workflow, policy and procedures, and everyday life, POCUS (Point of Care Ultrasound) was briefly touched on. Due to their full event schedule, the leading vendor in compact portable ultrasound machines, Fuji Sonosite, was noticeably absent, which was surprising given the recent debut of its new system, the PX. Without a vendor hall to showcase technology, products, and new trends, vendors used video presentations and links to their websites to promote their technology and products. GE, Philips, Siemens, and Mindray were present and shared information about their systems and transducers. Presentations suggested alternative uses for Jell-O, olives, chicken cutlets, and pickles. No, this was not a strange new recipe; instead, these items can be used to create phantoms for scanning simulators for teaching and practicing techniques.

The SDMS received praise for continuing with its annual conference in spite of the pandemic. The organization even put a twist on things by giving the ultrasound community a present on its 50th anniversary: the conference was not only virtual, but free to members.  One of the field’s pioneers, Joan Baker, co-founder and first president of the SDMS, shared the society’s history and highlights from the past 50 years. Another acclaimed presenter was Professor Frederick Kremkau, author, co-director, past president of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), and savior to many seeking to pass the physics registry. Professor Kremkau’s presentation on Doppler principles was warmly received and was interactive with Q & A.

The unusual aspects of this year’s conference — just over half the usual amount of CMEs offered, free admission, and not having to travel during a pandemic — were balanced with insight, history, and valuable information across the majority of the specialties. For the first virtual conference, I would say it was a good start. I am excited to see what the SDMS has in store for 2021.

Reminder, when considering sonography equipment or other capital investments, healthcare systems that use TractManager’s strategic sourcing solutions have access to unbiased clinical evidence and benchmarked pricing data so they can make more informed purchasing decisions.


Krys Lee, MHA, RDMS

Clinical Advisor

Krys Lee joined TractManager in 2019 with more than 18 years of clinical experience as a registered diagnostic medical sonographer.


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