Sessions at Fall Conference Go into Depth on Ultrasounds

Aug 27, 2018 / Practitioner Updates

Dr. Sharon S. Wagner

Dr. Sharon Wagner, DVM, Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer, an onsite ultrasound specialist, will be leading two workshops for 2018 Fall Conference: “Ultrasound Anatomy: Normal & Abnormal Findings” and “Physics, Transducers, and Knobology: Understanding Ultrasound.” physics

Dr. Wagner has a degree in engineering physics and worked for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission before becoming a veterinarian. Over the two decades of practice as a veterinarian, her veterinary career can be categorized as feline medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, and acupuncture. 

“I have been practicing veterinary medicine for 20 years, the last two years have been here at the University of Illinois where I teach abdominal ultrasound to senior imaging students and provide small animal ultrasound services for the Veterinary Teaching Hospital,” says Dr. Wagner. 

“My formal ultrasound training began, and continues, in human medicine as I bridge between human and animal to bring the best possible technique to our patients.” 

The lecture portion has two components: The first hour covers normal and abnormal anatomy while the second lecture covers how ultrasound works, including physics, transducers, artifact, and image enhancement. 

“To obtain the best image for making diagnostic decisions, it is vital to understand how the image is created and how it can be optimized,” says Dr. Wagner. 

“A lab portion is also available, with small group practice on live canines, to provide hands-on assistance in finding organs and adjusting machine settings.” 

If a practitioner is interested in learning ultrasound and making it a part of their practice, it will serve as a serious asset for their veterinary career. Since different diagnoses can look similar on ultrasound, veterinarians need the practice of deciphering various images. 

“Ultrasound is a very informative and non-invasive modality that all veterinarians can implement in their practices,” says Dr. Wagner. “With this pre-conference session, I hope to help practitioners become comfortable using ultrasound. The session will be useful for beginners who have never scanned before and for veterinarians who already scan, but could use a refresher.” 

A thorough understanding of ultrasound physics is incredibly helpful in creating an interpretable image. Dr. Wagner recommends taking some good quality ultrasound continuing education programs that are available in veterinary medicine to learn more about the subject. 

“I sincerely enjoy what I do, and I am eager to help others bring this fascinating and useful modality into their practices as both a diagnostic tool and a revenue source,” says Dr. Wagner.