The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) selected M. Robert (Bob) DeJong, RDMS, RDCS, RVT, FSDMS, FAIUM, as this year’s presenter of the Stephen McLaughlin Memorial Lecture on the closing day of the 2022 SDMS Annual Conference, September 29-October 1 in Atlanta, Georgia. This announcement was made by SDMS President Catherine E. Rienzo, EdD, RT(R)(ARRT), RDMS, FSDMS.
DeJong, retired ultrasound technical manager, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, has been a sonography educator since 1978 and has authored two sonography textbooks. DeJong was named an SDMS Fellow in 2009 and received the Joan P. Baker Pioneer Award, the Society’s highest honor, in 1996.
Each year, the SDMS bestows the honor of presenting the Stephen McLaughlin Memorial Lecture in the memory of its 15th president, Stephen McLaughlin, BS, RT(R), RDMS, FSDMS, who died of brain cancer in 2005, four years after completing his term as SDMS president. McLaughlin was an enthusiastic champion of “strength in numbers” and ardently professed, “The SDMS is the sonographer’s best career insurance, so sonographers should join and become stalwart supporters of their profession.” To carry out this mission, McLaughlin implemented technology-enhanced benefits to attract and retain members and oversaw the Society’s first structured membership drives.
DeJong follows in the tradition of helping to build the strength of the SDMS but through a different means: paying it forward. In his lecture, “Pay It Forward: Why I Do What I Do for Our Profession,” he describes the impact others have made on his career, including Marveen Craig, AA, RDMS, FSDMS, Frank West, BSN, RN, RVT, RVS, FSVU, CHC; Marsha Neumyer, BS, RVT, FSVU, FAIUM, FSDMS, Anne M. Jones, RN, BSN, RVT, RDMS, FSVU, Sandra Hagen-Ansert, MS, RDCS, RDMS, FASE, FSDMS, and Diane M. Kawamura, PhD, RT(R), RDMS, FSDMS, FAIUM.
“These sonographers blessed me with their knowledge. I knew I wanted to pay it forward, to excite and inspire other sonographers,” DeJong said. He has encouraged sonographers in research and educational writing, provided tips and tricks for more effective sonographic scanning, and offered support through myriad other approaches.
Paying it forward can mean less personal time and much effort for no financial reward but the benefits can include seeing a new generation of sonographers come into their own, improved patient care, and helping to elevate the sonography profession, he concluded.