40th Anniversary: Progress through time

​Progress Through Inspiration and Perseverance

1975:  ARDMS is incorporated in June, 1975. Two hundred candidates take the first credentialing examination in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, at the ASUTS/AIUM meeting.

1977:  The first regional testing and technical exams are administered in Philadelphia, Winston-Salem, Detroit, and San Francisco.

1979:  The first Central Office is established in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1986:  The first examinations are administered to military enlisted candidates in Germany using the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support System.

1995:  The ARDMS National Office moves to Rockville, Maryland outside of Washington, D.C.

Progress Through Recognition and Collaboration

1985:  ARDMS earns a class “A” status from the NCHCA for 5 years, achieving credibility as a certifying agency.

1990:  ARDMS is accepted as the credentialing body for cardiac sonography following the first Cardiovascular Principles and Instrumentation examination and the subsequent creating of the RDCS credential.

1996:  The first ARDMS simulation pilot study is conducted during the SDMS annual meeting with overwhelmingly positive feedback, and the information is used to design future pilot studies.

1997:  The RVT credential receives formal endorsement from the Society of Vascular Technology (SVT), making ARDMS’ credential the premier credential for vascular technologists. Subsequently, SDMS and the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) formally endorse ARDMS.

2001:  ARDMS launches The Breast Cancer and Women’s Health Foundation and convenes in person for the first time.

2005:  ARDMS credentialing programs earn ANSI-ISO 17024 accreditation for certifying bodies from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Accreditation is granted through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Progress Through Examinations and Education

1980:  The Continuing Medical Education (CME) program is developed and implemented.

1998:  The five-year rule goes into effect: Candidates must complete both a physics examination and a specialty examination within five years in order to earn a credential, regardless of sequence.

2003:  Applicants are required to submit an ARDMS clinical verification form in addition to the educational, clinical, and documentation requirements as listed in the prerequisite charts.

2005:  ARDMS converts to a CME audit system to verify compliance with CME requirements.

2012:  ARDMS launches a Recertification Assessment Program, with the first assessments to be offered in 2019. 

Progress Through Technology

1979:  The University of Cincinnati’s Computer Department is hired to handle electronic scoring and record keeping.

1991:  The first computer-based examination is administered in May.

1998:  The first public website is developed.

2001:  ARDMS and SDMS announce a new CME Tracker Program to easily report continuing medical education credits.

2002:  Registrants are asked to pay their renewal fees online for the first time. 

2009:  ARDMS moves to an all-online application process. 

2009:  Pearson VUE implements a palm vein recognition scan as a requirement in order to safeguard the integrity of ARDMS examinations. 

2012:  The SPI and MSK exams begin featuring Advanced Item Type questions, such as semi-interactive consoles and hotspots, to more closely simulate a hands-on testing environment.

2014:  Picture Archive and Communication Simulation (PACSim) items first appear on the PVI exam.

2015:  An updated public website is launched. 

Progress Through Volunteer Leadership

1975:  Volunteers give birth to ARDMS!

“I remember lectures from our early forefathers, telling us that the gallbladder could not be adequately imaged with ultrasound. What if we had listened?” Janet Bolin-Simonetta, chair, 1976-1977.

1975 - Present:  Volunteers work hand-in-hand with staff to dream big, clarify vision and mission, participate in governance, set strategic goals, establish policies, build examinations, and move confidently into the future.

“I didn’t train technicians; I educated sonographers.” L. E. Schnitzer, chair, 1979-1981.

2014:  A formal Volunteer Engagement Program begins to develop.

“My mother told me sonography ‘isn’t going anywhere.’ But I had a gut-level feeing that this would work.” Andrea Skelly, chair, 1989-1991.

2015:  The first Volunteer Now! site is launched on the website.

“Involvement with ARDMS exposed me to a breadth of sonography professionals – sonographers, physicians, and scientists – that I doubt I would have met in any other single venue.” Kari Boyce, chair, 2001-2003.

Progress Internationally

1979:  The first international ARDMS Registrant was from South Africa.

2005:  ARDMS begins delivering examinations in Ghana, West Africa; and Hong Kong, China.

2011:  ARDMS examinations are offered in 27 international test center locations around the world.

2013:  ARDMS administers a PVI-pilot examination in China.

2013:  ARDMS exhibits at the World Congress of World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB) in Brazil. 

2013:  ARDMS exhibits at the 2013 Charing Cross (CX) International Symposium in London with representatives of the vascular community from nearly 30 countries. 

2014:  ARDMS begins administering the PVI-China examination in the Mandarin language.

2014:  A Latin American Task Force is created to investigate and forge relationships so ARDMS can better understand sonography practice in Latin America. 

2015:  ARDMS partners with FLAUS to administer Spanish language Abdomen and Obstetrics and Gynecology examinations in Latin America.

Progress by the Numbers

1976:  400 Registrants

1987: 11,000 Registrants

1998: 35,000 Registrants

2006: 50,000 Registrants

2011: 70,000 Registrants

2015: 90,000+ Registrants