Around a year ago some of my fellow ultrasound directors and I were at a conference together and we decided to sit down and talk about the phrase “Formal Ultrasound” and how we think it does us a disservice. What we do matters. Our bedside ultrasound often changes management and definitely saves lives. So why are we calling our scans “informal”? We might not always say that outright, but I frequently hear our residents and staff call a radiology or cardiology performed ultrasound a “formal” scan, implying that what we do is informal. I have nothing but respect for the vast knowledge and experience that our consultant colleagues bring to the table, but what we do is also “formal”, albeit its usually a limited exam compared to the comprehensive scans they do.
While pondering on this, I decided that I might be able to convince people that what I do at the bedside is formal….by performing ultrasounds whilst wearing the most formal attire I could buy off of Amazon. I was fortunate enough to be joined by Nik Theyyunni, Rob Huang and Creagh Boulger at GLUC (Great Lakes Ultrasound Consortium) last year in Cincinnati, and they were nice enough to sit down with me and record our thoughts. Check it out!
(This was originally posted on the old Ultrasound Podcast on September 19, 2019)
And in case you needed more proof that emergency physicians can do formal ultrasounds, here is a picture of the four of us performing formal ultrasounds: