When and how did you get involved with cardiovascular ultrasound?
I got involved with cardiovascular ultrasound completely by chance. In 1994, I had completed two years of cardiology training in China before my family moved to Singapore. I was a new mother at the time, and struggled to adapt to so many big changes. Because of this, I decided not to continue to pursue my medical doctor career. However, being a full time stay-at-home mother was not enough for me. I started to look for different jobs in healthcare. Luckily, a local hospital was hiring for an EKG tech position; I immediately sent in my resume. The next day, I got a phone call from them inviting me for an interview. I was so surprised that they wanted to hire me as a cardiac sonographer. I was elated for the opportunity, even though I had no experience. I had my on-the-job-training with a cardiologist. My medical background truly helped me. It didn’t take me long to learn and eventually fall in love with it! I bought my first echocardiography book not long after. It was written by Dr. Arthur Weyman, and has blessed me with an amazing resource to better understand echocardiography.
What is the name and type of facility/ institution at which you work, and what is your current position?
I work at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, Massachusetts. Not only is it the largest teaching hospital of Harvard University, but also among the top three best hospitals in the nation. I’m currently a senior cardiac sonographer with various roles and responsibilities. Some of these responsibilities include cardiology echocardiography level 1 training, providing clinical training for new sonographers and sonographer students, participating in research projects, and acting as a rotating resource sonographer.
When and how did you get involved with the ASE?
I became a member of ASE in 1999 when I was in Singapore. I didn’t know much about ASE, but loyally read JASE every month. After I joined MGH in 2004, I started to get involved in many research projects. One of the research projects lead by Dr. Robert A Levine and Dr. Judy Hung was about functional tricuspid regurgitation. Through this project, I was able to understand the complex right heart on a whole new level. In 2007, Dr. Lawrence G Rudski quite unexpectedly invited me to join the right heart guideline writing group. Working alongside world-class echocardiography experts, my profession as a sonographer. Since then, I had been invited to serve as an ASE abstract grader, spoke at Scientific Sessions, served in the Guidelines and Standards Committee, and with Dr. Marielle Scherrer-Crosbie’s support and guidance, will serve as a co-chair for 2019 Scientific Sessions in Portland, Washington.
Why do you volunteer for ASE?
Volunteering with ASE has been incredibly rewarding! Not only does it give me the opportunity to share all that I have learned with others, but I have also grown as a professional and developed meaningful friendships with world-class echocardiographers.
What is your current role within ASE? In the past, on what other committees, councils or task forces have you served and what have you done with the local echo society?
Besides serving in the ASE guidelines and standards committee for the past two years, I recently have been given the privilege to serve on the ASE Council on Cardiovascular Sonography Steering Committee. I’ll have the opportunity to work with our committee chairs and members. Together, we will tackle pertinent sonographer issues and provide guidance for sonographers everywhere.
What is your advice for members who want to become more involved in their profession or with the ASE?
There are many ways to be more involved. If you work in an academic hospital, take advantage of it! Strengthen your knowledge by learning from your colleagues, mentors, and cardiologists. Develop your skills by participating in research projects. If you are a sonographer working independently, or in a small practice, I recommend you to join the ASE Mentorship program, or to use our extensive network (Twitter, Facebook, or Connect@ASE) to meet new people, share and learn knowledge, and form a collaboration with other sonographers. Make sure to attend our annual Scientific Sessions meeting and get involved in your local echo society by presenting or helping with event organization. If you are interested in getting more involved with the ASE, there are so many opportunities: from micro volunteering opportunities, to committee work, to maybe even serving on the ASE Board of Directors. Keep an eye out for the Call for Volunteers announcement in the next few weeks. If anything sparks your interest, just apply!
What is your vision for the future of cardiovascular sonography?
As technology continues to improve and as healthcare changes rapidly, sonographers must develop new skills to adapt to all the changes. It is important that sonographers continue to learn and grow to advance the profession and ensure quality patient care.