2020-2021 AEUS Candidate Statements

The Academy of Emergency Ultrasound (AEUS) 2020-2021 elections will open on January 30, 2020. Balloting information will be made available in AEUS’ discussion page.

Before casting your vote, please take a few moments to read through the candidate statements listed alphabetically under each position heading.

President-Elect Candidate Statements

Jeremy Boyd, MD
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

J BoydAs a resident at the University of Cincinnati I had the opportunity to attend the 2011 SAEM annual meeting in Boston. I had not clearly decided on a specific academic career path at that time, though I knew I had a strong interest in Emergency Ultrasound. While attending the ultrasound interest group meeting (pre-Academy status), I knew I had found my community and I have worked to become an active member of this community since. I have been an active participant as a station creator in Sonogames, and I have served the Emergency Ultrasound community as the Clinical Ultrasound specialty liaison to the NRMP (the MATCH) for the past three years. As of this year, I have moved into a leadership role as division director of Emergency Ultrasound at Vanderbilt University, where I completed my ultrasound fellowship training over six years ago.

The next few years are critical to the future of Emergency Ultrasound and its practitioners. With the development of the Focused Practice Designation in Advanced Emergency Medicine Ultrasound (FPD in AEMUS), our community will face changes and challenges that will require advocacy for the core practice of Emergency Ultrasound research and teaching. This is the role that AEUS, as a community of academic sonologists and sonographers, can and needs to play. AEUS encompasses all academic emergency ultrasound programs. As we move forward with a focus on fellowship accreditation, it is critical that a national organization continue to advocate for academic emergency ultrasound programs regardless of fellowship status. I see three ways in which AEUS can continue to better serve its members: 1) By placing an increased emphasis on residency training and education in POCUS 2) By providing resources for all academic ultrasound programs via curation of FOAMed, online lectures, and continued grant opportunities and 3) By continuing to develop and grow the field through junior faculty and resident development opportunities. We need to ensure that all programs have the resources available to run high-quality ultrasound education programs and strive to reduce the multiple barriers that exist to high-quality ultrasound research. Most importantly, we need to continue to diversify the field and bring new members into the community. I decided I wanted to pursue ultrasound fellowship at SAEM—we must continue to recruit residents and medical students as we move toward focused practice designation.

If elected to the role of President-Elect, I would continue to build on the work of those that have come before in the role and work closely with Drs. Huang and Stolz to ensure AEUS continues their leadership. With the AEMUS team we would work to ensure another successful Sonogames and Research Awards (SAEMmies) presentation at the annual meeting, and ensure we continue to fund the Academy’s annual research grant. As president I would strive to incorporate a way to involve Ultrasound fellows as well as EM residents and medical students in leadership roles, working with SAEM’s newly established RAMS program (residents and medical students). Being true to our name as an academy, I would like to establish a curated program of FOAMed and online resources for academic EM programs to provide teaching and education for trainees at all levels of medical education, not just fellowship. In addition, I would seek to develop an AEUS led pre-conference program for academy members that focused on curriculum development, bedside teaching skills, evaluation development, and remediation techniques that are applicable to all ultrasound educators—a sort of Ultrasound Educator Bootcamp. Lastly, I would seek to represent the interests of all academic ultrasound programs on the SCUF board as a representative of AEUS and advocate for our continued success as we move into accreditation and the FPD.

I owe much of my inspiration and passion for my current career to SAEM and the AEUS—it would be an honor to serve as President-Elect.

Petra Duran-Gehring, MD
RDMS University of Florida College of Medicine- Jacksonville

P Duran-GehringGreetings AEUS! My name is Petra Duran-Gehring and I am the director of Emergency Ultrasound at the University of Florida in Jacksonville. I first became interested in Clinical Ultrasound (CUS) when I worked in community practice where I saw first-hand how CUS can improve patient care. Upon the start of my academic career in 2006, there were no CUS Fellowship programs in Florida, so I created my own training program after which I implemented the CUS Program in my own department. Over the past 12 years I have cultivated the program in the ED and initiated a training program for the EMTs in my ED to place ultrasound guided IVs. Due to the success of this program, my team now places all difficult IV/midlines throughout our entire institution. I am currently the course director for the Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants ultrasound training programs and the Executive Director of ACEP’s Emergency Ultrasound Management Course, of which I have been a member of the planning committee for the past 5 years. I have coached a resident team in the SonoGames competition for the last 6 years, acted as a station judge last year and am part of the station creation team this year.

It is with this experience that I run for the position of president elect of AEUS and hope to accomplish the following objectives:

  • This is an exciting time for the EUS community with the upcoming implementation of the Focused Practice Designation (FPD) but it is also a time fraught with confusion for most AEUS members. If elected to serve, I would create an easy user guide to the FPD process that would assist our members in navigating this confusing and acronym riddled process. In the future I would hope to create a study guide for fellows to prepare for the FPD examination.
  • As most EM physicians practice outside of academic institutions and many of our current and future CUS fellows will be starting/maintaining ultrasound programs in community hospitals, I would begin a community ultrasound director outreach project to best identify the resources and educational content needed by our community-based colleagues. This would also provide useful information for future fellows and provide future educational research content.
  • Lastly, I would broach the subject of non-EM physician education. We are the leaders in the CUS community, and our expertise is needed. I would look at how we can continue to be the CUS educational leaders by being the resource others seek out for training.

Lindsay Taylor, MD, RDMS, RDCS, RVT
Virginia Commonwealth University Health System

L TaylorMy emergency medicine training began in Detroit Michigan at Detroit Medical Center - Sinai Grace Hospital and continued in Richmond Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University Health System (VCUHS) with an Ultrasound Fellowship. I am currently an Assistant Professor, Core Faculty and Ultrasound Faculty at VCUHS. In 2019, I was awarded Faculty Teacher of the Year in recognition of excellence in resident teaching and education. Nationally, I am the current Co-Chair of the Critical Care Ultrasound Subcommittee for American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP). For SAEM I have been a member since 2013 and have participated in the national conference for many years with abstract presentations, lightening lectures as well as being a contributing member of AEUS. As a member I have been a judge for the SonoGames the past two years, and in 2020 I am thrilled to be involved as a creator. In addition to my participation at the national conference I am a peer reviewer for Academic Emergency Medicine Education and Training journal. My interests are in clinical and critical care ultrasound, trauma, global health, and education.

The present and future application of point of care ultrasound both fascinate and motivate me to learn all that I can. I endeavor to use that knowledge to further the impact of ultrasound in patient care, research and education of physicians, fellows, residents and medical students.

If elected President-Elect of AEUS I will continue to encourage participation in the community and value the voice of its members on the national level in the following ways:

  • Provide the community with updated information on the latest advances in emergency ultrasound as well as inform the community about updates in the accreditation process for Advanced Emergency Medicine Ultrasound Fellowships
  • Provide ongoing educational resources for all specialties investing in point of care ultrasound
  • Continue to develop innovative and provocative training modules for emergency physicians, ultrasound fellows, residents and medical students
  • Educate the medical community on the research, evolution and technological advances of emergency medicine ultrasound
  • Continue to cultivate AEUS’s reputation for strong leadership through advocacy of point of care ultrasound among physicians and students of all levels of training
  • Assist in promoting education and research submissions to the annual meeting, as well as promote the narrated lecture series and fellow’s corner and hangout
  • Continue supporting, promoting and strengthening the beloved SonoGames

I have demonstrated capabilities in teaching and research and am resourceful and creative in my approach, application and execution. I wish to continue to advance my knowledge as well as my participation in this ever expanding and advancing field of medicine. I believe I am an excellent fit for this board and will play an integral part in helping to fulfill the mission of the AEUS Executive Committee.  

Treasurer Candidate Statements

Josie Acuña, MD
University of Arizona

J AcunaI received my medical education at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. Following medical school, I trained at Staten Island University Hospital as an emergency medicine resident. Afterwards, I returned to the University of Arizona to complete a fellowship in emergency ultrasound. I continued on at the University of Arizona as core ultrasound faculty member. As a faculty member I have worked closely with the various colleges at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Campus lecturing on the use of bedside ultrasound and providing hands-on ultrasound teaching sessions to students and faculty. Within the College of Medicine, I have been involved in projects to integrate ultrasound education into the core curriculum. Since residency and continuing into my career as a faculty member, I have also been heavily involved in ultrasound research.

I have long since been an active member of SAEM. As a resident I attended SAEM’s national conferences and participated in the early years of SonoGames. As a fellow, I was in the founding class of the SAEM’s ARMED (Advanced Research Methodology Evaluation and Design) course. It was through this experience in particular that I was able to learn more about the inner workings of SAEM and develop lasting relationships with its most active members. I’ve also had the privilege to present a number of research abstracts and lecture on emergency ultrasound at SAEM’s most recent national conferences. As a junior faculty member, SAEM has already provided me with multiple opportunities that have benefited me and have helped me advance my career. I feel that the best way I can support SAEM and its members is by taking on a leadership role through AEUS. I am prepared and motivated to function as treasurer for AEUS. My goals during my term would be to maintain open and timely communication and increase member participation. I look forward to the opportunity to promote and contribute to the development of AEUS/SAEM.

Lauren D. Branditz, MD 
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

L BranditzI earned my undergraduate degree in Biology from The Ohio State University in 2009, and my medical degree from The Ohio State University College of Medicine in 2013. I completed my Emergency Medicine residency training at Christiana Care Health System in Delaware. After completing residency, I was lucky enough to be accepted into Ultrasound Fellowship back home at Ohio State, where I have stayed on as faculty. I am proud to be a member of our department’s residency core faculty group. I also serve as Assistant Director and Education Director of our Division of Ultrasound which is housed within the Department of Emergency Medicine. These roles have allowed me to play an integral part in the organization and growth of ultrasound related educational programs impacting medical students, as well as residents, fellows, and attending physicians from various departments within our medical center. I have served on my department’s Board of Managers for the past 2 years and was recently re-elected for a second term (2019-2021). Among other projects, as a board member I was able to promote the continued education of my EM attending physician colleagues by advocating for a supplemental pay bonus to those who participated an in-house POCUS review course. I am proud to report that participation among attending physicians in my department was 100%.

I admire the work done by the leaders of SAEM’s Academy of Emergency Ultrasound, and would be thrilled to become part of the team. As treasurer, I would help the organization succeed by keeping track of finances while also potentially searching for ethical income opportunities that may allow for expansion of the programs offered by AEUS. I would strive to assist with the expansion of opportunities for current and potential new members, post on social media to promote organizational offerings, promote the innovations of the group and our individual members. I am honored to be nominated to the AEUS Executive Committee. I believe I am up to the task and hope you will consider voting for me as your next AEUS Treasurer. 

Kimberly M. Rathbun, MD
The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University


Christopher D. Thom, MD, RDMS
University of Virginia Health System

C ThomI attended University of Virginia for medical school, followed by a residency in Emergency Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University. Immediately following residency, I completed a 1 year fellowship in Emergency Ultrasound at Thomas Jefferson University, with graduation occurring in June 2014. Since fellowship completion, I have been on faculty at the University of Virginia, fulfilling the role of Assistant Director of Emergency Ultrasound before transitioning to Director of Emergency Ultrasound in 2019. I am also active in residency education as one of the Associate Program Directors. Prior AEUS experience includes three years working as a Round 2 station designer for SonoGames. I’ve held previous Board positions with Virginia ACEP and the Medical Society of Virginia.

Like many of you, my interest in AEUS stems from a basic underlying passion in the utilization of point-of-care ultrasound in the emergency department. We all have cases where ultrasound has made tangible and occasionally life-saving changes in our ability to care for patients as emergency physicians. Used competently, it is a toolset that provides emergency physicians a manner in which to practice at the top of their abilities. It is this reality, and those experiences, that drive my desire to see point-of-care ultrasound succeed and thrive.

AEUS has done terrific work in the advancement of this field, and we have benefited greatly from our organization’s initiatives and leadership in the past. However, new challenges and opportunities continue to surface on the horizon, which makes continuing innovation in our organization imperative as we move forward. Private insurer payment denials, incorporation of handheld ultrasound devices, appropriate advanced practice provider training and credentialing, encouraging investment by UME curriculum committees for point-of-care ultrasound education, resident and fellowship educational curriculum, and novel applications like TEE are a few such examples. These are areas in which I would want to bring increased focus and attention through the AEUS Executive Committee.

Improved communication, both through the website and through email, would also be beneficial to our membership and allow for improved transparency between the Executive Committee and the membership at large. Keeping members abreast of the activities, initiatives, and progress of AEUS will be a priority. Re-invigorating task forces where it makes sense to do so could also afford more interested and motivated parties participation in our academic organization. In addition, the membership of AEUS may benefit from a yearly recap newsletter that details work on issues such as the above. This would ideally serve to keep AEUS membership abreast of key topics, as well as areas where AEUS can provide assistance to members. Such a newsletter could also include a recap of the AEUS annual meeting agenda items, as well as a summary of the research articles that were nominated for the year. A section describing the most consequential innovation in EUS could be an interesting portion of a newsletter as well.

Finally, in the specific role of treasurer, my goal would be to provide accountability and transparency regarding the finances of the section. Keeping detailed records and analyzing spending patterns will be a task taken on in earnest. In summation, I understand that we have some challenges behind us and others ahead. It would be my intention to work with AEUS to push our speciality forward and ensure point-of-care ultrasound continues to grow in its effectiveness in delivering emergency care.

Research Officer Candidate Statements

Samuel Lam, MD, MPH
Sutter Medical Center

S LamMy name is Sam Lam. I am currently the Ultrasound Director at the Sutter Medical Center Sacramento in California. I am running for the position of AEUS Research Officer.

I have been practicing and teaching POCUS since 2009, and SAEM has always been my “home” organization in emergency medicine. I have been an AEUS member ever since its foundation. Over the years, I have contributed as an Academic Emergency Medicine peer reviewer, an Annual Meeting abstract reviewer, an abstract session moderator, a didactic session presenter, as well as a planner of Consensus Conference.

Since completion of my research fellowship in 2017, I have been working on advancing and promoting point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) research, particularly on the pediatric emergency medicine front. I was the Research Committee Chair of P2Network from 2017 to 2019. P2Network is a worldwide consortium of pediatric emergency point-of-care ultrasound experts and champions. During my term, I coordinated several multi-institutional research projects and helped put together new research protocols sponsored by the P2Network. I also facilitated the integration of the P2Network yearly conference into the SAEM Annual Meeting.

If elected to the AEUS, I would like to explore ways to build a platform/ information exchange network on AEUS so that POCUS researchers can brainstorm and collaborate on potential ideas and studies. I would also want to highlight and recognize accomplishment of POCUS researchers more frequently than a yearly basis. Finally, I would like to work with other stakeholders within SAEM to foster development and growth of aspiring POCUS researchers.

Daniel Theodoro, MD, MSCI
Washington University School of Medicine

D TheodoroI completed my residency in 2001 and my emergency medicine ultrasound fellowship in 2002. I was a fellowship director for 2 years then decided to pursue formal research training at a different institution and leave behind the central role of educator. I was accepted to a Masters level research program in 2005 then eventually accepted to an NIH funded institutional research training program. That allowed me to apply, and eventually receive, another research training grant from the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) that ended in 2012. Since my research award I’ve focused on my own work as well as developing collaborations and promoting the work of younger emergency physicians interested in pursuing a line of research in emergency medicine ultrasound or point of care ultrasound (POCUS). Before the formation of the Academy of Emergency Ultrasound (AEUS) I was the chairman of the Emergency Ultrasound Interest group and I am the past chair of the American College of Emergency Physician’s Emergency Ultrasound Section.

I would be remiss not to address, at this point of my career/service, why now? My answer is that academic research in the field of emergency care ultrasound is relatively underdeveloped (though much further along than a decade ago!) and I feel my experience with designing research, applying for federal and non-federal grants, and writing research papers is, finally, worth sharing with AEUS members to help promote our collective goals.

My goal as AEUS Research Officer will be to elevate the quality of AEUS member’s applications for outside funding. I believe this can be achieved by offering focused (see what I did there) advice regarding research development, study design, and grant application writing through our conference mechanisms (similar to what we achieved during our “Fellows Hangout”). SAEM does provide excellent resources for research training for example the Advanced Research Methodology Evaluation and Design (ARMED) program. I propose to enhance the experience of those who take advantage of these resources or to assist those who may have taken other paths to gaining experience with clinical research by offering my experiences and calling on senior members to share theirs.

AEUS’ mission is to foster and encourage individual and multi-center research and one of the Research Officer’s duties is to act as a liaison between our members to maximize the opportunities to perform high impact research. I will work to use my long-standing relationships in the field to link the efforts of those interested in achieving high impact studies by raising awareness of opportunities and connecting members with similar lines of research. I will propose a POCUS registry of studies managed by AEUS. I believe that SAEM and AEUS should be the natural keepers of this information given the long dedication to advancing research in the field of Emergency Medicine. Creating these relationships and promoting collaborations will increase the success of established, mid-career, and young physician scientists seeking to document the impact of ultrasound on our field.

In closing I believe in the mission of AEUS and SAEM. I believe that by holding the Research Officer position I can help use the Academies resources to further achieve our ultrasound goals.

Michael Prats, MD
The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center

M PratsFirst, as leader of this committee, I look forward to keeping the committee as beneficial as possible for its members. This will entail brainstorming creative ways to engage and serve our members, problem solving difficulties our community encounters, and always moving forward in growth. I believe that my experience in the field to date will allow me to make significant contributions in this way. The second component of my goals is with regard to my position as Research Officer. I plan to contribute to the Committee by taking responsibility for the functions of AEUS related to research in our field. I will review research proposals and provide high quality feedback on potential research ideas. As a reviewer for multiple ultrasound and emergency medicine journals, I have experience providing constructive feedback on study design and manuscript preparation. I also will review ultrasound-related grant applications for the committee and provide insights into feasibility and quality of proposals. I fervently believe that it is the responsibility of AEUS to highlight and promote high quality research in our relatively young field of point-of-care ultrasound. For this reason, I am excited to also organize the prestigious SAEMMIES, and continue to streamline the process of reviewing and scoring the many publications of our members. Having served on the SAEMMIES committee for three years, I am very familiar with the process. I will optimize this task for the faithful reviewers and work to engage as many SAEM members as possible in the celebration of these research accomplishments.

In addition to more traditional academic activities, I am highly engaged with the use of social media in ultrasound education. I feel that this experience has better equipped me for this position on the AEUS Executive Committee. My particular area of focus is in promoting Evidence-Based Sonology, the practice of using point-of-care ultrasound in a safe and literature-based manner. This is nicely parallels the position of Research Officer in that both are seeking to amplify best practices for both performing and interpreting ultrasound research. As the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Ultrasound G.E.L. podcast (ultrasoundgel.org), I am in constant interaction with newly published ultrasound research. I search countless journals for articles related to emergency ultrasound and thoroughly and critically analyze these papers. We have over 80 episodes to date, over 30,000 audio downloads per month, followers in over 180 countries, and a pool of expert reviewers composed of world-renowned leaders in the field. This relationship to the latest research is ideal for anyone who will be reviewing research and grant proposals. Furthermore, experience in this position has allowed me to understand the importance of high quality research in our field. It has also allowed me a creative outlet in findings effective teaching strategies for disseminating best practices in ultrasound. Overall, this unique experience has provided expertise relevant to my role on the committee and allowed me to develop skills that I can use to more effectively contribute as a member.