At last, it’s here!
I’ve been waiting with baited (sorry, bated — thanks, Carroll!) breath for this website to become functional. After all, its by the guys who taught me everything I know about ultrasound (of course, you shouldn’t judge them by my own personal inadequacies…). But, let’s not muck around, it’s time to ‘Go West’ and become an (Ultrasound) Village Person!
Who’s in charge of the Ultrasound Village?
Ultrasound Village is fronted by James Rippey, Adrian Goudie and Greg Sweetman. This trifecta of Western Australian emergency physicians are passionate (is obsession too strong a word?) about the awesome potential of the clinical use of ultrasonography in emergency medicine. They each live and breathe ultrasound in their daily practice and each holds a much coveted Diploma in Diagnostic Ultrasound (that’s a DDU, not a DUD). What’s more they are evangelical educationalists who strive to spread ‘The Word’ about emergency ultrasound to all comers everywhere.
So, what’s to be found in the Ultrasound Village?
The Village elders aim to support training in clinician-performed bedside ultrasound all the way from novice to expert. They are doing this in a number ways through their easy-to-use, accessible and visually appealing website.
The first thing that must be mentioned is the Image library. It contains both normal anatomy and pathological cases, depicted as both image stills and videos. Its early days right now, but this promises to grow into an exceptional online learning resource.
The library couples fantastic image examples with descriptions and technical tips. A great feature is the colour-coded images that spell out to even the biggest ultrasound dummy exactly ‘what’s what’ (after all, the creators of this site have even managed to teach me a thing or two…). The image library is open access, but if you register (which is free) you can use the images in ‘test yourself’ mode — a great learning feature.
Those who register will also soon be able to use the online Logbook to guide and document their journey from ultrasound imbecile to sonographic sorcerer. Registration also allows access to a growing number of Educational Resources. These include short, instructive multimedia video lectures on emergency ultrasound topics (such as physics and artefacts, AAA, EFAST, early and late pregnancy, procedures and more) and there are quizzes to come. You can also keep up-to-date with information on the next ‘hands-on’ course — if you get the chance to attend one, don’t hesitate!
Disclamer — I have attended courses and assisted on courses by the Ultrasound Village team. I was an Emergency Medicine Ultrasound Registrar at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital for 6 months in 2009, working under the supervision of Assoc Prof James Rippey and Prof Greg Sweetman.