Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

SDMS Announcements

Sonographers Making Waves - Liz Lawrence

by Katie Kuntz, MEd, RT(R), RDMS, RVT, FSDMS


Sonographers Making Waves - Stephen Wiseman
Sonographers Making Waves
Liz Lawrence, RDMS, RDCS, RVT

How long have you been a sonographer?
44 years. My ARDMS # is 187. That’s right - THREE digits. When I register for meetings, some people think I forgot to write the rest of the number. My career has given me opportunities beyond measure.

Where are you located?
I live in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. I moved here from Houston, Texas where I had my first job at MD Anderson Medical Center as their first sonographer.

How did you become interested in your career? 
I was in the right place at the right time. I was 21 years old in 1972 and searching for a career. My friend suggested X-ray, because she knew someone who was a radiographer. I was accepted to one of the hospital radiology technology programs in Oklahoma City. Finally, I could answer that dreaded “What do you do?” question.

One person who asked me this question happened to be the Director of the Ultrasound Program at Oklahoma University Health Science Center. However, when he asked me that question, I was ready. I replied, “I just got accepted to the Radiologic Technology Program.” In a loud booming voice he said, “You should go into ultrasound!” He explained more and though I did not have a clue what he was talking about, I tried my best to look intelligent. He ended the conversation handing me his card and asking me to come for a tour of the Ultrasound Department. I thought he might be pulling a joke on me. None of my friends could tell me what ultrasound was, and we could not “Google it” in 1972.

I decided to take a chance and showed up. It was all so strange because an X-ray was clear-cut, but this ultrasound looked like chicken scratches. I was not convinced. During the tour, I had the opportunity to meet and talk with Dr. Ross Brown and his dedication impressed me. He was sure that ultrasound was the future of imaging and that sonography would be a good career choice. Without any basis or background on the topic, I trusted him, and I declined my slot in the Radiography Program.

It was not an easy thing to do for a young woman entering the professional world. From the very beginning – without knowing it – I took a leap of faith and jumped on this wave called Ultrasound and I have not regretted my decision.

Where ​do you work?
I own a staffing company specializing in Imaging Professionals – supplying staff to physician’s offices, clinics, and hospitals in Southeast Michigan. I also teach at Baker College of Auburn Hills for the DMS program.  Additionally, I consult with cardiovascular labs to assist them in the IAC accreditation process.

How have you been “Making Waves?”
In 1975, very early in my career, two other sonographer friends and I created the Michigan Sonographer’s Society which is an active educational group to this day. As a co-worker, supervisor, applications and sales representative, product specialist, college instructor and now business owner of an imaging staffing company, I have always loved sharing my knowledge.        

What would you like to tell other SDMS members to inspire them to make a difference and enrich their careers?
I had help along the way from some fabulous sonographers and physicians. We owe it to our field to all pay it forward to the next generation of sonographers. It has been 44 years, and I never forget that I was also seeking knowledge at one time. Recently, one of the new sonographer graduates asked me, “Why did you help me?” My answer was “Because you asked.”

Do you know a sonographer who is doing something out of the ordinary? Whether it is a grand gesture or a small moment that makes a difference in someone’s life, the SDMS would like to hear about it so that we can share it with you. So, if YOU know someone who is making waves, tell us at social@sdms.org!