Have you ever been to an ultrasound workshop where each small group of attendees huddles around the small ultrasound display? Personally I think the 3 people closest to the display really see the images well. This tends to exclude the other participants.

Last week, I hosted (my first!) ultrasound workshop for the UCSF Alumni CME Conference where I showed peri-retired UCSF alumni from various specialties about the future of bedside ultrasonography. I equated it to the 21st century stethoscope. Thanks to my star team of ultrasonographers: Dr. Asaravala, Flores, Miss, Lenaghan, and Wilson.

In order to maximize engagement amongst the participants, I set up each of the 5 ultrasound stations with either a LCD projector or a large-screen TV screen so that everyone could see what was going on. While we encouraged them to do some hands-on scanning themselves, the participants were more interested in the novelty of bedside ultrasonography and how they might be able to incorporate into their practice.

What did I learn as the course director?

  • Make sure each instructor has a laser pointer. I had to scramble for them last minute when I realized that the instructor couldn’t actually touch the projector screen from where they were standing. It made it hard for them to point out key structures.
  • Use thick masking tape to tape all the lose power cords (ultrasound machine, projectors, TV) to the ground. Bonus points if none of your participants trip and fall. 
  • I liked the fact that all the stations were in the same room. This allowed participants to freely wander amongst the different tables.
  • I’m glad I made a last-minute handout which showed the basic anatomy of areas being ultrasounded and a potpourri of abnormal images as a reference for the participants as they were viewing the real-time normal scans.
 UltrasoundWorkshop8_PLsm UltrasoundWorkshop5_JMsm UltrasoundWorkshop3_JWsm
Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Editor-in-Chief
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg San Francisco General. Founder of ALiEM @aliemteam #PostitPearls https://t.co/7v7cgJqNEn
Michelle Lin, MD