For the fifth year and the second at the University of Iowa, the Midwest Fellows Critical Care Ultrasound Symposium gathered dozens of faculty and fellows to spend two days in intensive instruction and training in point-of-care, or bedside, ultrasound. The practice has been increasing for intensivists over the last few years, but its relative novelty also ensures that few providers have the experience to teach its use properly. Dr. Greg Schmidt and many others organized this symposium to fill that gap.
Dr. Schmidt, Professor of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Occupational Medicine, was aided by faculty from within his division as well as from the Department of Anesthesia. Another dozen or so faculty members from other institutions also provided instruction. About four dozen fellows got a mix of hands-on training and small-group presentation to prepare them for the wide variety of situations they will encounter. Most attendees were from the Midwest—the University of Chicago, Rush University, University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois, Northwestern, Kansas University, Creighton University, University of Nebraska—but two fellows and a faculty member came from as far as University of New Mexico. “We might have to change the name,” Dr. Schmidt joked.
As with last year, symposium organizers prepared a variety of lectures and hands-on trainings using professional simulated patients. Because each person is different, practicing on as many individuals as possible reinforces the idea that each situation will require fresh eyes. “It’s interesting to watch,” Dr. Schmidt said. “You can see, by the end of Day Two, just how much more skilled and more confident they become.”
The symposium’s scheduling during the summer also means the group can also get in a big bike ride and enjoy a casual meal on the first evening hosted by Dr. Schmidt. As the now-Iowa-based symposium begins to build and establish yearly traditions, it is not difficult to imagine these kinds of activities being just as much of a draw for future attendees.
Congratulations to the faculty and staff who contributed to such a successful event.