An Ultrasound Interest Group (USIG) is student-run ultrasound education organization. To offer student-driven ultrasound education takes a little work and some organization. To make this easier we’ve developed a “How To” guide for starting, organizing, and running a USIG. It’s based on the experience of creating a USIG from nothing and managing it at a medical school without any ultrasound in the curriculum. Learn from our experience in creating student-sponsored ultrasound education and start your own USIG to bring ultrasound to your school!
Basic USIG Components
The basic picture of a USIG is student-organized ultrasound education. This takes place in the form of:
- Hands-on ultrasound workshops
- Interest group meetings
- Independent study (using USIG provided self-study materials)
- Group practice sessions (in ultrasound practice lab hours arranged by the USIG)
- Optional but fun USIG features (USIG member of the month, Ultrasound Honors, case of the month, USIG twitter account, etc.)
The heart of the group is the hands-on teaching workshops that put ultrasound skills in the hands on the students. This uses “student mentors” to teach the hands-on components and faculty, when available, to give the lecture component of ultrasound education. The group also provides support for students interested in ultrasound. This comes in the form of creating a community, organizing curriculum integration efforts, and other features of the club (access to independent ultrasound practice, ultrasound competitions, FOAMed-based self study curriculum, etc.). More information about “Medical Student Driven Ultrasound Education” can be found in this presentation.
Starting a USIG
To start you will need student leaders. These are the people who will make ultrasound education a reality. We’ve outlined the essential components of USIG leadership below to help you get your USIG off to a strong start with a strong leadership model.
After establishing your leadership, you will need to figure out ultrasound workshops. This is the most important activity of a USIG, so start working on this early! It’s going to provide your members with access to the ultrasound education that probably don’t have access to. Below you’ll find all the info you need to create hands-on ultrasound workshops.
Your also going to need a website! Having a site allows USIG students to quickly connect to USIG activities and essential info. It allows you to easily share ultrasound resources with USIG students, so you can orient them to the available ultrasound education resources and allow them easily access ultrasound learning whenever, wherever. And lastly, having a site makes your USIG more visible to students and medical school administrators. Highlighting the activities and success of your USIG and its members, and drawing attention to student interest in bedside ultrasound allows your USIG website to support efforts for ultrasound curriculum integration.
Example to check out: University of Kentucky USIG Site
You’ll also need some basic resources (like ultrasounds, money, instructors, etc.) for your USIG. Below are some helpful tips for getting the resources you need to start and maintain your USIG.
Once you’ve gotten the basics elements of your USIG put together, it’s time to have some fun with it. There are lots of exciting and fun things you can do with your USIG! Like seriously cool features you can add to your USIG to make learning ultrasound even more awesome!
USIG Ultrasound Curriculum
When starting a new ultrasound education group, there is NO need to re-invent the wheel when it comes to curriculum! There are ton of great ultrasound education resources out there. We’ve sorted through all of them and collected the best of them into a comprehensive FOAMed-based curriculum. The SonoMojo FOAM Curriculum is broken down into learning modules by scan, so you can easily learn the scan of your choice. You can find the curriculum on our FOAMed Ultrasound Curriculum page HERE or download a copy.
Ultrasound Curriculum Integration
Making an Ultrasound Elective
There’s no need to wait for your medical school administration or course directors to provide you with ultrasound education. Not only can you create ultrasound education through your USIG, but also through forming official ultrasound electives for yourself and your fellow ultrasound students. Most medical schools allow students to create independent study electives to satisfy their specific learning interests. Simply find a faculty sponsor and submit one of the elective request template below.
First/Second Year Ultrasound Elective:
Ultrasound Elective Request Letter – Introduction to Ultrasound Elective
Fourth Year Ultrasound Electives:
Ultrasound Elective Request Letter – Advanced Ultrasound Elective (for non-EM students)
Coming Soon… “How a USIG Can Promote Ultrasound Curriculum Integration” & “Collecting Data to Support Curriculum Integration”
Incorporating Ultrasound into Your Clinical Education
Keeping a Record of Your Scans
Demonstrate your experience by keeping a record of it. Document how many scans you’ve done and how much time you’ve put into learning ultrasound. Record these to know/document for residency applications, for ultrasound credentialing exams, or to measure your experience for your own knowledge. It’s easy. Just create a Google Form and add a link to the home screen of your mobile devices. When you complete a scan, tap the home screen icon, fill out the form (15 seconds max), and submit. Google forms will automatically log all your scans into a spread sheet and keep a record for you. The same goes for logging hours. Learn more about Google Forms HERE.
Coming Soon… “Guide: How to Incorporate Ultrasound into Your Clinical Education in an Ultrasound Naive Institution”