Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

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Pennsylvania’s Gabe Folmar Ready for High-Tempo Sonography Career, SDMS Scholarship in Hand

by SDMS Staff

2023 Student Scholarship - Gabrial FolmarGabrial (Gabe) Folmar, 27, a six-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force with an additional four years in the Air Force National Guard, is flying high about his new career in sonography, which he will enter following his June 2023 graduation from the South Hills School of Business & Technology with an associate degree in specialized technology. 

He has already received recognition from the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS), which awarded Gabe the 2023
SDMS Foundation Sonography Student Scholarship, a $2,500 award that can be used for school expenses, such as tuition, books, and educational fees.

Gabe, who joined the SDMS a year ago, is grateful for the award and salutes the SDMS for serving the needs of its members in so many ways.

“If you take advantage of all they have to offer, there’s just so much,” he says. “I always try to sign up for all the virtual events they do, either on weeknights or weekends. I never get tired of the pathology webinars, the ergonomic webinars, and one I recently attended on mentorship in sonography.” He also values the job postings and career resources he finds on “I’ve only scratched the surface. I can’t imagine how I will feel four or five years down the road,” he adds.

The Sky’s The Limit

Gabe frequently thinks about the future and is setting his sights high – not just for himself, but for others, like his colleagues and the patients he serves, and for the sonography field overall.

“My goal is to be a trustworthy, positive sonographer. I want to be someone who mentors people in the field, someone others can come to with questions. When I was in school and in clinicals now, I really admired people who were like that with me. They would explain concepts, and they were enthusiastic and helpful when I would ask them questions,” he says.

Gabe has had his clinical training at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Presbyterian, the 900-bed research and academic hospital that is the flagship of the UPMC system. His colleagues and the fast pace at one of the largest hospitals in Pennsylvania have hit the “sweet spot” for Gabe, who hails from Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

“We constantly have patients, so we can scan non-stop throughout the whole day. We get inpatients and outpatients. There’s pretty much the opportunity to go bedside with portable ultrasound equipment anytime throughout the day. I really like that high-tempo environment. It can be challenging at times but I think that’s why I like it. I definitely know that I want to work somewhere that’s high-tempo, that has a lot to offer in experience. The environment I’m working in now is one I would like to end up in,” says Gabe, who is studying on a vascular track currently.

Sonography’s Strong Future Beckoned

Following six years in the U.S. Air Force, Gabe studied physics at Penn State University. The onset of the COVID pandemic left him and his family uncertain of how well a physics degree would translate into an employment opportunity, so he hit the internet. His mission: to find a field with a high-growth future.

“Sonography kept coming up. I had never heard the word ‘sonography’ before so I searched it and realized, ‘These are the people who do ultrasounds!’ and I quickly learned there are many more specialties than the one I knew about, OB/GYN,” says Gabe. “I was interested from the beginning because it was described as a small, specialized field, dependent on technical skills.” He was also soon to learn that physics, his passion, is the basis of ultrasound technology.

Gabe knows there is much more for him to learn in sonography. “It was surprising for me to learn, over the last two years in class and during my six-month clinical training, how much goes into being a sonographer.”

Gabe, who intends to apply to the SDMS Foundation Emerging Leaders Program in October, is well on his way to new heights in the sonography career of his dreams.