It is hard to believe that only one year ago we celebrated the success of the first ever Western Medical Student Ultrasound Symposium. This year’s symposium took place the weekend of August 23rd & 24th and was bigger and better than ever.

Hosted at the state of the art Canadian Surgical Technologies & Advanced Robotics (CSTAR) facility, this two-day symposium provided medical students with an introduction to point of care ultrasound. The event was attended by 38 medical students from 6 medical schools across Canada. Extensive opportunity for “hands-on” skill development was a focus of the symposium. This practical component was enhanced by didactic teaching from local experts. The weekend was capped off with fierce competition and a showcase of ultrasound skills as participants attempted to take home the Western SONOGames Cup!

The first day began with an electrifying keynote address by Dr. Rob Arntfield. Dr. Chris Byrne, the founder of the 1st medical student ultrasound symposium, then gave participants an informative lecture highlighting the fundamentals of ultrasound. This was followed by exciting workshops on Cardiac and Lung ultrasound led by Dr. Rob Arntfield. Dr. Drew Thompson wrapped up a busy first day by leading the FAST and Obstetrical ultrasound workshops.

Day two began with an engaging lecture by Dr. Naveen Poonai highlighting the use of ultrasound in pediatric fracture localization and reduction. Dr. Drew Thompson then led instruction in Abdominal, Aorta and Hepatobilliary ultrasound. This was followed by an expanded session on ultrasound in Procedural Guidance, taught by Drs. Vishal Uppal, Jon Brookes and Rakesh Vijayashankar. The symposium concluded with fierce but friendly competition during our Western SONOGames, which included an expanded emergency medicine simulation station (led by Drs. Ouellette and Davis). Congratulations to this year’s SONOGames winners (see photo below) for clinching a close battle and taking home the hardware. The bragging rights are all yours!

Congratulations to the SONOGames winners!

Congratulations to the SONOGames winners!

We would like to extend a special thank-you to our corporate partners SonoSite Canada, Phillips Canada, and General Electric Canada for the donation of state-of-the-art ultrasound machines. The support of ultrasound machines and expertise was invaluable! We were also fortunate to have MedaPhor graciously provide a virtual-reality training system – ScanTrainer – for medical students to explore and hone their ultrasound skills. Finally, this weekend could also not have been a success without our standardized patient models who volunteered their time to support the event.

We are excited for the new academic year and what it will bring for PoCUS and undergraduate medical education. The experiences from this past weekend demonstrate that medicals students are ready to embrace point of care ultrasound and will seek it out additional instruction independently!

Below are some photos from the weekend with credit to Weiang Yan. Also find the members of the medical student planning committee whose tireless efforts cumulated in this weekend’s symposium and the faculty and residents whose enthusiasm and expertise in teaching made the weekend a success.

Thank you to everyone for your support as we look forward to 2015 and the making of the 3rd annual Medical Student Ultrasound Symposium!

Medical Student Planning Committee: Nick Packer (2015), David Mainprize (2015), Mike Clemente (2015), Weiang Yan (2015), Ryan McLarty (2015), Evan Ailon (2016), Josh Burley (2016), Justin Cottrell (2017), Craig Olmstead (2017).

Faculty & Resident Instructors: Robert Arntfield, Drew Thompson, Su Ganapathy, Chris Byrne, Rakesh Vijayashankar, Vishal Uppal, Ramiro Arellano, Dave Ouellette, Matt Davis, Sean Doran, Alberto Goffi, Pat Murphy, Amit Shah, Jon Brookes, Naveen Poonai, Roy Roebotham and Shoeb Ashan.