More than 20 first-and-second-year students recently participated in an ultrasound workshop coordinated by members of Engineering Medicine’s (EnMed) emergency medicine student interest group. Ultrasound imaging is frequently used in emergency medicine to help detect changes in the appearance of organs, tissues and vessels. The workshop was organized to give students interested in emergency medicine more experience with ultrasound imaging technologies earlier in their medical education.
“I worked in an emergency department during my undergraduate experience and became very interested in the clinical applications and engineering principles behind point-of-care ultrasounds,” said Caleb Haeussler, first-year EnMed student and member of the emergency medicine student interest group. “We thought that a workshop like this would be well suited for EnMed as ultrasound combines a lot of interesting physics and engineering principles, has a multitude of clinical applications and plenty of avenues for innovation.”
During the workshop, the students learned from clinicians how to properly operate ultrasound machines, conduct multiple types of exams and how to respectfully interact with patients while performing the exam. The students received four ultrasound imaging systems from SonoSite, a leader in portable ultrasound technology, to use during the workshop.
“Ultrasound imaging will be incredibly valuable in our future careers as ‘physicianeers,’ both in clinical practice as well as for innovation,” Haeussler said. “A strong engineering background is vital in understanding the physics that allow ultrasounds to function. Knowledge of how the frequency and wavelength of the soundwave affect which probe should be chosen for various exams is a prime example of the blending of engineering knowledge with clinical practice.”
Haeussler plans to pursue emergency medicine as a specialty after graduation. He says that he’s aiming for a career where he can utilize his engineering knowledge to identify problems and develop innovative solutions for them. He also has an interest in teaching in the future.
“I chose EnMed because I believe that the most effective and efficient solutions for health care’s biggest problems will come from approaches that integrate engineering and medicine together, and EnMed’s innovative curriculum will give me the tools needed to solve these problems,” he said.