Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

bridgettWilley_200x300 Bridgett Willey, PhD, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, RT(R), FSDMS
SDMS & SDMS Foundation T​reasurer

Bridgett Willey, PhD, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, RT(R), FSDMS
, treasurer of the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) and SDMS Foundation (2021-2023), is the director of Allied Health Education and Career Pathways at the University of Wisconsin (UW) Health in Madison, Wisconsin. She is also the founder and director of Health Occupations and Professions Exploration (HOPE), a program that guides underrepresented high school students and adult apprentices into healthcare careers. Bridgett has dedicated her life and career to helping others see “possibility” in their lives and living it in her own. From her base of a large health system, she has directed a university diagnostic medical sonography program and two laboratories (research and clinical). She is a clinical professional, a registered diagnostic medical sonographer, cardiac sonographer, and vascular technologist with doctoral, master’s and bachelor’s degrees. An “educator at heart,” Bridget is a clinical professor, a published researcher, and co-author of clinical guidelines and videos for echocardiography students. Her vibe is relentlessly positive at work and in the community.

Turn life lessons into hope for others
Bridgett learned early in life that when people are shown all the possibilities, they can make their own magic happen, with a little guidance along the way. In 2013, she created HOPE to do just that. Underrepresented high school students and those with no family precedent for attending college are paired with a college mentor to explore possibilities in over 60 careers in health care. Internships at UW Health are available for qualified students and adult apprentices. To date, HOPE has served over 4,000 youth participants and more than 600 interns.

Grow your potential by learning as much as you can
“I want to learn as much as I can,” says Bridgett, and her diverse career is proof. When she was offered opportunities—in hospital administration, laboratory leadership, in a lecture hall, or teamed with other sonography researchers—she never knew whether she had a talent for the new venture, but her desire to learn served her well. If you learn as much as you can, each role, each credential, each investigation for publication “gives you the flexibility to choose where you want to focus,” she says.

Consider the abundant opportunities of large health systems
Working at a large health system for almost 20 years has provided a form of stability while still allowing Bridgett to branch out into a wide field of opportunities. The University of Wisconsin health system has 17,000 employees and 8,000 university employees. She discovered that an ambitious registered diagnostic sonographer full of curiosity and a willingness to work hard can make career advancements by taking any number of pathways: hospital management, research, education, or cross-training into cardiology, radiography, or vascular surgery.

Best icebreaker
With Bridgett, you may not need one. She loves to meet new people and is always ready to talk.

Work is done, what are you doing?
Reading fiction or doing something fun outdoors, like fishing, kayaking, or canoeing.

One of Bridgett’s favorite quotations is from Nelson Mandela, the first president of South Africa, post-apartheid: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Bridgett Willey, PhD, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, RT(R), FSDMS “At-a-Glance”


  • Doctorate in education-curriculum and instruction, with a focus in multicultural education and qualitative research methods, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Master’s degree in educational psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Bachelor’s degree in health and healthcare administration and management, Ottawa University (Wisconsin)


From the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS)

  • Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS)
  • Registered Radiologic Technologist, or RT(R)
  • Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT)
  • Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS)


  • Ziemlewicz TJ, Hinshaw JL, Lubner MG, Knott EA, Willey BJ, et al. Radiofrequency and microwave ablation in a porcine liver model: non-contrast CT and ultrasound radiologic-pathologic correlation. International Journal of Hyperthermia. 2020;37(1):799-807. doi: 10.1080/02656736.2020.1784471.
  • Potretzke TA, Brace CL, Lubner MG, Sampson LA, Willey BJ, Lee FT. Early small-bowel ischemia: dual-energy CT improves conspicuity compared with conventional CT in a swine model. Radiology. 2015(April);275(1):119-26. doi: 10.1148/radiol.14140875.
  • Chiang J, Willey BJ, Munoz Del Rio A, Hinshaw JL, Lee FT, Brace CL. Predictors of thrombosis in hepatic vasculature during microwave tumor ablation of an in vivo porcine model. Journal of Vascular and International Radiology. 2014(December);25(12):1965-1971.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jvir.2014.07.022.
  • Baker S, Willey B, Mitchell C. The Attempt to Standardize Technical and Analytic Competence in Sonography Education. Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. 2011. 27(5):267-273.
  • Mitchell C, Hall TJ, Baker S, Burke M, Knauf L, Willey BJ. Can Hybrid Learning Theory Be Used to Teach Working Sonographers Breast Elastography? Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. 2010(Mar-Apr);26(2):55-63. doi: 10.1177/8756479309351575.
  • Mitchell C, Willey BJ. Adult Echocardiography Review (Davies Publishing, 2nd edition, 2017).
  • Mitchell C, Willey BJ. Adult Echocardiography Mock Exam for Windows and Mac (Davies Publishing, 2017)

Awards and Fellowships

  • Fellow, Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (2019) 
  • SDMS Distinguished Educator Award (2015)

Professional Roles

UW Health/University of Wisconsin


  • Director, Allied Health Education and Career Pathways (2015-Present)
  • Founder and director, Health Occupations and Professions Exploration (HOPE) program (2012-Present)
  • Program director, UW Hospitals & Clinics’ School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (2009-2015)
  • Lead research sonographer, Thermal Ablation Laboratory (2011-2016)
  • Technical director, Heart and Vascular Clinic Non-Invasive Imaging Lab (2007-2008)
  • Adjunct clinical faculty (2007-Present)
  • Associate clinical professor (2007-Present)
  • Clinical education coordinator, School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (2005-2009)

Voluntarism for the SDMS and/or SDMS Foundation
Task Forces, Committees, and Work Groups

  • Government Relations Committee (2010-2012)
  • Membership and Awards Committee (2017-2021)
Executive, Director, Board Liaison, and Board Representative Roles

  • Director (2017-2019)
  • Secretary (2019-2021)
  • Treasurer (2021-2023)
  • SDMS Liaison to the AIUM Bioeffects Committee (2014-2016)

Other Voluntarism in the Sonography Community
Selected Service Roles for the JRC-DMS

  • Site visitor (2007-present)
  • External reviewer (2010-present)