Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

SaraBaker--200x300 Sara Baker, MEd, RDMS, RVT, RMSKS, RT(R), FSDMS
SDMS & SDMS Foundation ​Director

Sara Baker, MEd, RDMS, RVT, RMSKS, RT(R), FSDMS, who has more than 20 years of experience in sonography and as a member of the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS), was elected to the SDMS Board of Directors as a director in 2022, two years after being honored as an SDMS Fellow. She also served as an SDMS Director from 2015 to 2017. Sara is currently program manager of ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and positron emission tomography accreditation at the American College of Radiology. For over 20 years, Sara has volunteered in a wide range of activities to support the SDMS, the American Registry in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS), the South Central Wisconsin Ultrasound Society, and academia.

Volunteer, don’t be afraid, don’t say ‘no’
Sara encourages new graduates of diagnostic medical sonography programs and sonographers to “prove your worth through your work and networking” by engaging in volunteer activities. It’s an approach that has worked well for her; she has given countless hours in volunteer service to the SDMS, the ARDMS, the JRC-DMS, and more. “One opportunity rolled into the next one, each offering more challenge than the last,” she says. It’s impossible to know, and you shouldn’t worry about, whether you can do everything a volunteer opportunity will require. “Don’t be afraid. Don’t say ‘no.’ There are so many things you can succeed in doing,” she says, by not getting bogged down in questions about whether you are able.

Going gangbusters with certifications and education – well, why not?
Sara has taken and passed nine board examinations, has completed certificate programs in diagnostic medical sonography and radiologic technology, and holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, both in education. As a program manager in accreditation now and as a lead sonographer, research sonographer, clinical coordinator, and instructor for many years, she knows the value of education and specialty certifications. She also figured, “Why not? Education is of great value, and it can never be taken from you.” 

Stay curious. Critical thinking is as important as basic knowledge.
As lead author of research published in the Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JDMS), (and also subject of her master’s thesis), Sara, joined by SDMS Treasurer Bridgett Willey and Carol Mitchell, PhD, studied the objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) as an alternative to typically subjective methods of assessing student clinical, technical, and analytical competence. They concluded that the OSCE was reliable, valid, and “may be the ‘missing link” in providing the information needed for students to become more competent sonographers.1 She doesn’t have as much time for original research today but does stay involved as a reviewer for the JDMS. About research, she says, “There is so much to learn. Although it’s a lot of hard work, if you love it and find joy in it, it never feels like work.”

Best icebreaker
She’d love to hear your views about an article she’s published or a presentation she’s given – or invite her to talk shop about the sonography profession over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Work is done, what are you doing?
As a wife and mother of three—Cate, 12, Evan, 10, and Austin, 5—Sara finds great joy in family time, whether carpooling or being outdoors – camping, biking, kayaking, sledding, and downhill skiing.

Inspiration
At work or at home, Sara likes to place this quote nearby, from 16th U.S. President Abraham Lincoln: “Whatever you are, be a good one.”



Sara Baker, MEd, RDMS, RVT, RMSKS, RT(R), FSDMS “At-a-Glance”

Education

  • Master’s degree in education, Edgewood College, Madison, Wisconsin
  • Bachelor’s degree in adult education, Ottawa University, Brookfield, Wisconsin
  • Certificate in diagnostic medical sonography, University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics
  • Certificate in radiologic technology, University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics

Certifications

From the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS)

  • Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS)
    • Abdomen
    • Breast
    • OB/GYN
  • Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT)
  • Registered Musculoskeletal Sonographer (RMSKS)
  • Neurosonology Registrant (RDMS (NE))
  • Ultrasound Physics & Instrumentation
  • Vascular Physics & Instrumentation

From the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists

  • Registered Radiologic Technologist (RT(R))

Research/Publications

  • Foellings K, Baker S, Walker D. Sonographic and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Characteristics Associated with Splenogonadal Fusion. Journal of Diagnostic Medical Sonography. 2014;30(5):256-260.
  • 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.
  • Jiang J, Strother C, Johnson K, Baker S, Consigny D, Wieben O, Zagzebski J. Comparison of blood velocity measurements between ultrasound Doppler and accelerated phase contrast magnetic resonance angiography in small arteries with disturbed flow. Physics in Medicine and Biology. 2011;56(6):1755-73.
  • Xu H, Rao M, Varghese T, Sommer A, Baker S, Hall TJ, Sisney GA, Burnside ES. Axial shear strain imaging for differentiating benign and malignant breast masses. Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. 2010;36(11):1813-24.
  • 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.
  • SDMS Webinar Series (Sonography Education; Liver Vasculature; Interventional Procedures, 2014-2016) 

Awards

  • Fellow, Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (2020)
  • SDMS Sonographer Poster Competition, 1st Place (2020)
  • Bracco Research Award, International Foundation for Sonography Research & Education (2009)

Professional Roles

American College of Radiology (ACR)

  • Program manager, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, and positron emission tomography accreditation (2021-Present)

University of Wisconsin

  • Lead sonographer, University of Wisconsin Hospital & Clinics (2016-2021)
  • Clinical education coordinator/didactic instructor, School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (2007-2016)
  • Research sonographer, University of Wisconsin Atherosclerosis Imaging Research Lab (2007-2008)
  • General/vascular sonographer (2002-2007, 2015-2016)
  • Radiologic technologist (2000-2002)

Meriter Hospital

  • General/vascular sonographer (2015-2017)

Voluntarism for the SDMS and/or SDMS Foundation

Task Forces, Committees, Work Groups, and Other

  • Ethics Committee (2015-2017)
  • Nominating Committee (2017-2021)
  • Reviewer, JDMS manuscripts (2014-Present)
  • Reviewer, SDMS Continuing Medical Education (2015-Present)
  • Multiple SDMS clinical refresher projects

Executive, Director, Board Liaison, and Board Representative Roles

  • Director (2022-Present)
  • At-Large Director (2015-2017)
  • Board Liaison to the Conference Management Committee (2015-2017) 

Other Voluntarism in the Sonography Community

JRC-DMS

  • Member, Virtual Site Visit Task Force (2020-Present)
  • External reviewer (2019-Present)
  • Site visitor (2012-2021)

South Central Wisconsin Ultrasound Society (SCWUS)

  • Vice-President (2009-2015)

ARDMS

  • Chair, Simulation Task Force (2019-Present)
  • Chair, Pediatric Sonography Specialty Examination (2021-Present)
  • Vice-Chair, Pediatric Sonography Specialty Examination (2019-2020)
  • Item writing mentor (2015-Present)
  • Item writer (2013-Present)
  • Lead, item development, Pediatric Sonography Specialty Examination (2014-2018)
  • Item reviewer, Abdomen Specialty Examination (2014)