Letter From the Chair - Fall 2011
It's hard to believe that my 2-year term as the Chair of the ARDMS Board of Directors is ending. I can still remember when I first got involved with the ARDMS. Back in the late 90's, I was a sonographer working in Pittsburgh and I got a letter asking me to write questions for the neurosography exam. I was honored and intimidated. I brought 25 written questions to a meeting and the group, chaired by Cathy Babiak (RDMS), a former Chair, and Dr. Michael Tenner, a former physician Board member, sat around a table, critiquing each others’ questions. Fast forward to today, anyone who is registered in a specialty can go online and write questions that are needed for future exams. After being an item writer, I became a member of the Neurosonography Exam Development Task Force (EDTF) for six years. After that, I ran for the board of directors. I was on the board of directors for six years before being elected as the Chair.
As Chair, I've had the honor of representing the ARDMS at several meetings. Just before my term began, I attended the World Federation for Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology (WFUMB) meeting in Sydney, Australia, where there was minimal interest in our exams. At that time we had testing centers in Hong Kong, China and Ghana. Now we have 20+ test centers around the world. I just came home from the WFUMB meeting in Vienna, Austria, where there was an amazing increase in the amount of interest in our credential around the world. I have learned that in many foreign countries, the physicians do the sonograms; sonographers don’t exist. We were delighted to meet a nurse who is actually performing sonography in Germany and wants to become the first person to become a “Sonographer” in Germany. Most of the global interest was in the PVI (Physicians Vascular Interpretation) Exam, and the Musculoskeletal (MSK) examination, which will be coming out in 2012. During this past year, I have had the privilege of meeting some of the most knowledgeable people from the USA and Canada who are performing MSK ultrasound. In the next few weeks, I will be appointing the MSK Exam Development Task Force.
The MSK examination will be given to both physicians, sonographers and also medical professionals from other specialties such as sports medicine, osteopaths, orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors, etc. The principals and instrumentation questions will be included in the exam, so a separate sonography principles and instrumentation examination isn’t necessary to earn the credential Registered in Muskuloskeletal™ (RMSK™) sonography. It is the hope of the ARDMS to eventually involve international experts to contribute to MSK as well as other exams.
In addition to that, another major milestone during my chairmanship was that the Board of Directors met in May 2011 to make a new, revolutionary, strategic plan that will carry the organization through to 2014. The board has adopted a plan that captures on-going performance-based item development and new sonography practice markets in a global environment.
As I look back on my experience with the ARDMS, my favorite memory will always be meeting Registrants through Item Development Workshops or sonography meetings, and encouraging them to become a volunteer for the ARDMS (item writers or EDTF members). As a member of the ARDMS Board Development Committee, I was also involved in the interview process that brought new people into the organization. To all of the many sonographers I have mentored throughout my entire career, I will always think of you as my little ducklings. And having said that, I would also like to thank two former ARDMS Chairs, Cathy Babiak (RDMS) and Kari Boyce (RDCS, RDMS) who mentored me throughout my ARDMS life.
It has been a privilege to work with such a dedicated and talented group of volunteers, an extraordinary organizational staff and the Executive Director, Dale Cyr. This month, I will hand the reigns of this outstanding organization over to our new Chair, Kevin Evans, PhD., RT(R), (M), (BD), RDMS, RVS. Kevin comes into the chairmanship with a fresh, different perspective than I had, just as I had a different perspective than Dr. Steve Leers, my predecessor. I think what makes the ARDMS strong is it’s diversity. Steve Leers is a vascular surgeon, I am a clinical sonographer (RDMS, RVT) and Kevin is a PhD involved in education and research. Please join me in welcoming Kevin.
Patricia Maxwell Patterson (I got married during my term as chair!)
RDMS, RVT, RT
Chair, ARDMS Board of Directors