The Secret to Ultrasound

Ultrasound can be intimidating when starting out in school, especially if you’re like me and had no previous experience with it. In my first-year, we talked about it fairly briefly in our introduction to radiology class. In anatomy, we took several trips down to the large animal hospital where we had a short amount of time to practice using the probe and looking at different structures on horses. During those short trips, I felt lost and overwhelmed. I was worried if I would ever be able to figure out this black and white puzzle and use this tool as a doctor.

Let me tell you the secret to understanding ultrasound. It’s practice! It’s truly as elementary as that. Last summer at my internship, I was able to witness a lot of ultrasounds. In addition to a 24-hour emergency clinic, the facility was also a busy specialty practice with an exceptional oncologist. A considerable part of oncology is biopsy and imaging and this is where I learned to hone my fundamental ultrasound skills. When first starting, it was challenging. I couldn’t tell if I was looking at organs or an alien. But over time it got easier to know what I was looking at. The kidneys were the easiest, then the liver, the gallbladder, the spleen—I could see it all! I was even able to practice my skills in navigating the probe (harder than it sounds at first!) and I became more comfortable in my abilities to find and distinguish structures.

I will still need a lot of practice to discriminate normal and abnormal, but having this basic foundation of ultrasonography gives me confidence for the future.

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Second-Year at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Morgan is an “Iowa-lifer” and grew up in Northeastern Iowa until relocating to the center of the state to complete her undergraduate degree in 2017 with a B.S. in Animal Ecology. Currently a second-year student at Iowa State College of Veterinary Medicine, Morgan’s true passion lies in exotic and wildlife medicine, but she keeps an open mind as she continues her education.

Morgan has a four-year-old son, Silas. When she is not studying, she likes to spend her time outside and especially loves hiking, disc golfing, kayaking and bird watching. They have 2 cats, Ziggy and Tyrannosaurs Rex, and a peach fronted conure named Tequila.



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