Castlefest 2017

Coming to a CASTLE near you …. April 10-14, 2017!

Ah… the planning for Castlefest 2017 is already in the works. If you have attended previously, you know what an amazing and educational event this is both for attendees and medical students. Where else can you find WORLD leaders in point-of-care ultrasound and resuscitation, all in one freakin’ awesome castle?

USIG leadership is beginning to look for medical and other healthcare student models (free healthcare, anyone?) to be scanned for the different hands-on stations. If you are interested in helping out, fill out these surveys:

Modeling –

Other roles –

More coming soon!  In the meantime, block off your schedule, #gymtanlaundry for modeling, and brush up on your scans at the last few upcoming USIG workshops.



Who out there in the UKCOM student ultrasound community is doing ultrasound research? Who wants to visit a cool city surrounded by ultrasound educator royalty? Then SERIOUSLY consider attending the World Congress of Ultrasound in Medical Education 2017.  Check out the website!

When – Oct 12-15, 2017

Where – Montreal, Canada

Who – Get your ultrasound friends together and go!  JF and Maxime help run this thing – and you’ve met them at Castlefest, you know they are awesome and like to dance.

How much? – only $250 for students if registered by June 30th! and UKCOM will give you $250 free money per year for conference travel!

Abstracts due by APRIL 20!!!

Follow the awesomeness on Twitter @WCUME17


Distinction Program

Hey Ultrasound Aficionados!                                                       
The much talked about  USIG Distinction program is ready to begin for the 2015 -2016 school year.Below you will find the program outline and the link to the Google form you can use to report your activities.

Program Outline: here
Program Log: here
Progress Sheet: here

USIG is very excited to be launching this program and we hope that everybody will earn member with distinction status!

Here is a quick rundown of the program:
What is USIG member with distinction? 
The program is designed to help you get even more out of USIG. It is designed to help make you better sonographers and to give you a little something extra to put on your resume. In short, it is a somewhat official way to say that you are well on your way to becoming an ultrasound master. This is something to work on over the course of your 4 years of med school – it doesn’t have to be completed in 1 year.
How does it work?
You earn US distinction by earning points in different categories (Participation, Scanning, and Didactics) and by actually practicing your scanning. The goal is to get a total of 35 points with at least 10 in each of the above categories and to log at least 150 scans. This may sound like a lot, but these add up really quickly!
What kind of activities count?
Anything from attending meetings to reading chapters from textbooks and everything in between! Consult the program outline for more details.
How do I log things?
It’s very simple. Just use the Google form and USIG will take care of the rest. Every month USIG will post an updated progress chart so you know where you stand.

For example:
Let’s say you are an M1 who went to the very 1st USIG lunch meeting, came to the cardiac workshop, and scanned 3 people at the workshop –>  2 attendance points and 3/25 cardiac scans complete.

Or, if you are an M2… 1st lunch meeting + 2 MSK workshops + 4 scans at each workshop –> 3 attendance points and 8/25 MSK scans complete

See how quickly these things add up!

If you have any questions about the program send an email to

Happy Scanning!
-Team USIG


Dr. Dawson (center)

Dr. Dawson (center)

As the planning for Castlefest 2016 is well underway, we wanted to go ahead and let you all know how you can get involved. As many of you are already aware, Castlefest is a 4 day Ultrasound Event hosted by our very own Dr. Matt Dawson as well as some of the best Ultrasound educators from around the world. This event is designed to be an Ultrasound training boot camp in which physicians fly in from all over to learn Ultrasound from the best. We are extremely fortunate in that this occurs right here in our backyard at the Castle in Versailles, KY.  
If you have ever wanted to get more involved with USIG or simply just want to learn more about ultrasound itself, there is no better opportunity than this. We will be sending out sign-up sheets in the coming weeks for about 30-40 volunteers per day to serve as ultrasound “models” so that all of these physicians can practice hands on scanning with live models. As a model you will get to attend the event free for the day, can attend all of the lectures, and eat a free lunch with the best of the best. Check out the google doc below to sign up, and be sure to sign up early as volunteer spots filled quickly last year! Sign Ups:
  ** Please Note: the COM has agreed to allow students 1 excused absence day to attend the conference. You must fill out an absence request form. Absences will not be granted if there are any required activities/exams on the day you are requesting. 
Who: You!
What: Castlefest 2016 Volunteers
When: April 27th – 30th (To volunteer, please plan on staying from 9:30-5p on the days you sign up; lectures will start at 8am if you would like to join then as well). 
Where: Castle on Versailles, Rd about 10 minutes from campus
Contact Person: Brett Dickens at

First USIG Member of the Month: Jared “The AAA Man” Brown

We couldn’t not be any happier or prouder to introduce our first member of the month, Jared Brown! Not only Jared is a great dude to hang out with or grab a beer, but he’s the USIG’s Ultrafest Director, a USIG ultrasound mentor, and a clinical rock star M3! If you see him on campus, give his some serious props!!

In directing UK’s first Ultrafest, a free ultrasound education symposium for medical students, he’s bringing ultrasound education to students throughout our region and improving patient care for their future patients. You can always find him at USIG teaching events, leading small groups and giving his free time for ultrasound education of his fellow students. He’s basically an ultrasound genius (if you’ve seen him teaching… you know what I’m talking about). And if all that wasn’t enough, he recently discovered a previously unknown AAA on his clinical rotations, simultaneously catching a potentially life threatening pathology to the benefit of his patient and flipping the educational dynamic to teach his teachers ultrasound.

We ask Jared to answer some questions for this post and his response blew us away, so we’re posting it in it’s entirely below. Be prepared to be blown away for real! Congrats Jared on being an outstanding USIG member and soon-to-be physician! We could not be more proud to call you our own!!

Jared’s Response to Our Request for Info About His Interest in Ultrasound, Involvement in USIG, and How Ultrasound Has Impacted His Patient Care

“History/Roles in USIG and How I Got Involved

My first experience with USIG was in the beginning of my second year and I was immediately hooked. The instant gratification of being able to glimpse inside an actual living person literally brought all the anatomy learned during the previous year to life. As I progressed through the different systems, ultrasound made revisiting topics from class fresh, exciting, and tangible even.

With my new addiction to ultrasound, I enrolled in the Ultrasound Elective during the Spring. I still remember the first time I scanned a patient and saw actual pathology: the gentleman was in decompensated heart failure and the hypomobility of his heart was instantly recognizable. And I recall standing in awe as the Critcal Care doctor managing the patient used the probe as if it were a natural extension of his body to measure and quantify the state of decompensation. In that moment I was truly inspired to continue my ultrasound education and soak up everything and anything I could.

As a third year student, I earned a position as a Mentor with USIG and currently help teach classmates ultrasound at all the workshops. My hope is to instill the the same enthusiasm and excitement for ultrasound impressed in me by my mentors. This year, I am also excited to be directing the first ever Ultrafest at the University of Kentucky — a student-led and faculty mentored ultrasound conference open to all students in the region focused on hands-on learning of ultrasound for all levels of competence.

The AAA Case

During my Internal Medicine rotation on the inpatient team I received an overnight-admit ICU patient with a large number of co-morbidities. After the resident assessed the patient it was my turn to pre-round, and when conducting the physical exam I noticed a slight pulsation of the gentleman’s abdomen. I whipped out my stethoscope and appreciated a bruit on auscultation. Of course, my suspicions were high for a abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Just as I finished up my assessment, I remembered the ultrasound machine kept in the ICU and tried my best to hide my excitement as I found a nurse to let me in the supply room. Back at the bedside, I did my best to remember all the skills I learned over the last year, and, sure enough, the patient had a AAA measuring 4.7 cm. At that point I could no longer hold back my excitement and literally ran to find the resident. For once, during the struggle of being overwhelmed that is third year, I felt a glimmer of competence. One of the most rewarding moments of medical school thus far was the attending congratulating me on the find.

The same patient also had a erythematous area on his left forearm, and later in the day the resident asked me to go back with her to help scan the area. I was put back when she handed me the probe and asked me to show her how the characterize the lesion. I remembered back to when Dr. Dawson walked me through an ultrasound of cellulitis on an ER patient during the Ultrasound Elective. Sure enough, our patient had the classical ‘cobblestoning’ of cellulitis. Just when I could not imagine the day getting any better, the resident used the findings from the scan to guide antibiotic therapy. Nothing compares to the feeling of actually contributing to patient care as a medical student, and I am truly thankful for the ultrasound training I have received as a student at the University of Kentucky.”

New USIG Feature Alert! Member of the Month!

Hey USIGers! We’re super pumped to introduce you to one of the newest (and totally freakin’ awesome) USIG features, the Member of the Month. What exactly is a “Member of the Month” you ask? It’s a USIG member who is, to put it simply, OUTSTANDING! They’ve used ultrasound to improve patient care, enhance their own & other’s medical education, be innovative, and demonstrate why they are future leaders in medicine. We have some amazing USIG members, who’ve been doing incredible things with ultrasound. We’re so proud of them that we’ve created a new way to recognize all their hard work and give them their due props! Below are just a few of the recent accomplishments of some outstanding USIG students:

Presenting their own research at international conferences

  • Carolyn Martinez (ultrasound guided peripheral IV model preferences poster)
  • Alex Patterson (cardiac ultrasound education poster, national ultrasound interest group concept poster, & distance cardiac ultrasound education oral presentation)
  • Jennifer Cotton (student-driven longitudinal ultrasound education poster)
  • Kendra Campbell (medical student-driven ultrasound education concept poster)
  • Brett Dickens (ultrasound interest group concept poster)
  • Monika Spacil and Sahiba Chandel (undergraduate ultrasound education poster)

Competing in (and winning) a HUGE national ultrasound competition

  • SonoKittens – Brett Dickens, Carolyn Martinez, & Jennifer Cotton (Ultrasound World Cup Champions!)
  • Where the Wilds Sounds Are – Sahiba Chandel, Monika Spacil, & Kendra Campbell
  • Kentucky Dopplegangers – Mannie Webb, Alex Patterson, & Carolyn Martinez

Publishing in an international emergency medicine journal (for ultrasound, of course)

Russell P, Mallin M, Cotton J, Aboul-Hosn N, and Dawson M. “First “Glass” Education: Telementored Cardiac Ultrasonography Using Google Glass. A Pilot Study”. Academic Emergency Medicine. Volume 21, Issue 11, pages 1297–1299, November 2014. Read more HERE!

This is in addition to a number of invited international lectureships and conference teaching faculty positions (that we’ll be giving more details on soon, we promise)…

You can see why we’re so excited we’re SO excited to begin highlighting our brilliant and accomplished USIG students! We, seriously, could not be any prouder!! To kick of this new program, we’d like to congratulate our very first ever member of the month, Jared Brown! His Member of the Month post will be up shortly, so keep an eye out!


iPads Loan Program and Lab Hours!

Borrow an iPad from USIG!

This post is just a reminder that you have even more resources at your disposal… iPad borrowing and open lab hours! USIG iPad loan program has three iPads that can be checked out, with Dr. Dawson’s Introduction to Bedside Ultrasound downloaded (as well as a few other useful titles and apps). Please follow these simple steps to borrow an iPad from USIG: 1) Go to the Emergency Department (ED), and find the physician’s station in the adult section of the ED (if in doubt, ask a member of staff). 2) Inside the station are lockers. The USIG locker is on the bottom row, middle column, and has a large sign on it saying “USIG!” 3) Open the locker and take out one of the solid black iPads. On the back of the iPad you will find the iPad number on the USIG label. 4) On the google document (found HERE), please find the columns corresponding to the correct iPad number. Fill out your name for the days you want to borrow the iPad. Please also include your email address. 5) iPads can be borrowed for a maximum of 7 days. Return the iPad to the same locker. If you have any questions about finding the ED, or with the google doc please email one of your USIG officers. FYI:Of course if there happens to be an iPad in the locker, and you just want to use it whilst shadowing in the ED, please feel free to.

USIG student Ultrasound Lab sessions are here!

 Lab Hours Also, be sure and take advantage of the open hours in the sim lab each Thursday from 2-4pm. Directions to the Lab are found on the google doc sign up (found HERE). It’s a great opportunity to learn more about ultrasound and practice what you have been learning at the workshops. If you have any questions about the lab or any problems accessing it please email one of your USIG officers. All the best, USIG team

First Workshop The FAST Scan

We would like to invite you to the first USIG workshop of the year on August 28th at 5pm. We will be doing the FAST scan. FAST stands for Focused Assessment with Sonography in Trauma. We will have Dr. Conroy who is a ultrasound fellow here at UK giving a lecture before we break up into our small groups for hands on practice.  

The FAST scan is an incredibly important exam that allows you to quickly assess critical trauma patients for free fluid and bleeding in the abdomen, pelvis and around the heart. Not only is this a scan you will use often, it is a great introduction on how to obtain basic views of organs with the ultrasound. I can say with out any doubt the FAST scan is easily the ultrasound exam I have done the most while in the ED.  We are setting the capacity at 70 people but we will have a wait list. Please sign up with the link below

If you want to come prepared with some knowledge check out the links below: (go to the link under Trauma)

Introduction to Bedside Ultrasound Vol. 1: Ch. 1 “eFAST”

For those of you who are already pros at the FAST scan and what to expand your trauma sono skills check out:

Introduction to Bedside Ultrasound Vol. 2: Ch. 7 “SUSS IT”

What: USIG FAST Workshop

When: August 28th at 5pm

Location: MN 263

See you on Thursday!

Check Out New Ultrasound Site, SonoMojo!

I noticed something about our site statistics here on Wildcat USIG… there were too many hits from too many countries (37 so far) to all be from our University of Kentucky medical students’ traffic. We began hearing from people that were using our site who weren’t U of Kentucky medical students. You were physicians from all across the globe. We are incredibly happy (and flattered) that you found the site Wildcat USIG useful!

This led me to realize there was a need for a resource that provided an introduction to the available bedside ultrasound education available to learners and collected all the best of FOAMed ultrasound education in one place. So I am happy to announce the founding of a new site, SonoMojo! It’s geared towards all ultrasound learners, providing a starting place for new ultrasound learners and resources for more experienced learners to further develop their skills. It is designed to be an orientation to ultrasound education to get new learners plugged into the best ultrasound education resources out there (most of which are completely free). There is also a comprehensive FOAMed-based ultrasound curriculum for ultrasound learners of all levels! It can be found at So if you’ve been using Wildcat USIG for your ultrasound education needs be sure to check out SonoMojo! Happy ultrasounding everyone!


Jennifer Cotton (USIG Founder and President)