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.
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Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
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 SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at https://t.co/50EapJORCa Bio: https://t.co/7v7cgJqNEn
Michelle Lin, MD