Ultrafest Offers Students Innovation, Experience, and Career Possibilities

Ultrafest opens a world of new ideas, treatments using ultrasound

  • AZ - Glendale
Students experience hands-on learning at Ultrafest.
Ultrafest participants work in teams to perform ultrasound.


The Midwestern University Ultrasound Student Interest Group in Glendale held the fourth annual Ultrafest on February 17, exploring innovative and collaborative uses of ultrasound in the healthcare field. The event also included SonoWAR, an ultrasound scanning competition for healthcare students. 

Charles Finch, D.O., FACOEP, Chair of the Department of Integrated Medicine, and Professor of Emergency Medicine at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine said, “Each year Ultrafest is developed and planned by student leadership through the Ultrasound Student Interest Group. This event is unique to the area, as there is no other medical school in Arizona that hosts an Ultrafest. The event runs all day and is set up to help healthcare students, residents, and faculty to better understand and explore how ultrasound impacts healthcare education on campus and graduate healthcare education programs, as well as how students care for our patients once they graduate.”

Ultrafest included faculty-led workshops such as basic knobology (understanding the ultrasound machine); a hands-on musculoskeletal focus on the shoulder, knee, and wrist; cardiac; abdominal FAST ultrasound; central line procedures; and other opportunities, Dr. Finch noted. An expert keynote speaker discussed the future of ultrasound. During the SonoWAR competition, teams of four participants engaged in a friendly, high-energy competition to better understand how to incorporate ultrasound into healthcare education and clinical practice. 

Dr. Finch emphasized the importance of student participation in the Ultrasound Student Interest Group. “Student leaders help develop a variety of opportunities and various workshops, with Ultrafest as the primary event. It enhances the students’ ability to become more well-rounded graduates and improve their leadership skills. In addition, it exposes them to additional hands-on ultrasound imaging than in the classroom, taking what they learned and applying clinical application and different ways to image that may be unique to the actual clinician that’s delivering that workshop. Overall, Ultrafest offers students the experience of hands-on imaging, the ability to think critically, and the opportunity to apply new clinical knowledge to further enhance their understanding of ultrasound from a clinical perspective.” 


Students experience hands-on learning at Ultrafest.
Ultrafest participants work with manikins to simulate the patient care experience. 


Podiatry student Remi Drake (AZCPM ’26), Ultrafest Co-Coordinator of the Ultrasound Student Interest Group, said, “I found through doing workshops with students that ultrasound is what I will show to patients to understand their own anatomy and guide treatments. I view ultrasound as what my future practice will look like.” Medical student Christina Mortenson (AZCOM ’26), President of the Ultrasound Student Interest Group, added, “All of our classmates will be in the field in less than two years. We have ultrasound as a skillset, and we access it as part of our curriculum and as a club. All of us are eager to learn and change the landscape of what medicine is going to be. Ultrasound is used in every practice and in every single specialty.” Medical student Mitchell Rentschler (AZCOM ’26), Ultrafest Co-Coordinator of the Ultrasound Student Interest Group, agreed, noting that, “a lot of the workshops were procedures-based and showed the business aspect of healthcare practice, which is an additional benefit to classroom learning.

Students hope the Ultrafest experience will really impact participants in a beneficial way. “I hope they come out of it with pearls of knowledge and experiences that assist them later on in life,” Remi said. Christina added, I hope they walk away with abilities to treat people, as well as new confidence and connections.” Mitchell elaborated that students may learn several ways to conduct the process, and that this event gives students a better understanding. “You figure out your own best way and apply that in the future.”

Ultrafest is one of many learning and growth opportunities available to students at Midwestern University in addition to the academic programs. A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree program is offered in Downers Grove and Glendale. 

Related News