There are many imaging techniques in veterinary medicine and the most commonly used ones are radiography and ultrasonography. I just finished the ultrasonography rotation not long ago. Like many other rotations, in addition to learning what is expected, I also got something unexpected but super useful in this rotation.
Ultrasonography is a very busy service. However, for most cases, we got to spend 5 to 10 minutes scanning the abdominal organs before the radiology resident or radiologist started to scan. We set a goal of learning how to find the location and interpret the ultrasonographic findings of one or more organs each day. Eventually, we were able to locate, identify and interpret the findings of most of the organs and structures within the abdomen. Because ultrasonography is a highly operator-dependent imaging technique, we felt more confident performing diagnostic ultrasonography after practicing many times during this rotation.
Imaging is all about anatomy, which I did not understand well before. It’s crucial for us to be familiar with the anatomy of the abdominal organs in order to successfully perform and interpret diagnostic imaging. Just like performing a physical exam, each person has his or her own way of doing it and the key is to follow the same order every time so you don’t miss anything. When scanning the abdomen with an ultrasound probe, the left limb of the pancreas is right next to the stomach with the colon sitting in between, which explains why dogs with pancreatitis will present with vomiting and diarrhea. There are many similar examples showing the connections between anatomy, physiology and imaging techniques. I am looking forward to my radiology rotation to find more such examples, which I consider the beauty of medicine.