“The field became very exciting about a decade ago when we realized that the resolution of ultrasound had reached the point where you could see small nerves.” – Francis O. Walker, MD
My father was a physician and ever since I was young I wanted to be a doctor. In college, I became interested in physiology and physiological psychology and so when I came to medical school I found neurology to be one of the most appealing areas. The function of the peripheral nervous system is always fascinating — neuromuscular junction, sensation and perception — those are the things that really got me fired up about the specialty.
When I was a junior faculty in the mid-1980s, there was a pioneer in neurovascular ultrasound, Bill McKinney, who said to me, “Walker, ultrasound has a real role in helping muscle disease and nerve diseases. You have to get started.” So I started playing around with ultrasound. As time passed we found more and more applications looking at muscle. The field became very exciting about a decade ago when we realized that the resolution of ultrasound had reached the point where you could see small nerves. That’s when the field took off.
Our biggest partner in electrodiagnosis has come from the field of physical medicine rehabilitation. They have done a lot of the pioneering work in the field. Their interest spans not just nerve and muscle ultrasound, but also musculoskeletal ultrasound. From a neurology side, the interest has come from those involved with neurovascular ultrasound and peripheral nerve and muscle, so it’s a nice overlap of two key fields. Other audiences for Neuromuscular Ultrasound include anesthesiologists, radiologists, those involved with sports medicine, rheumatologists, neurosurgeons, orthopedists, and plastic surgeons, among others.
Francis O. Walker, MD is a Professor of Neurology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He is an author of more than 100 journal articles, book chapters, and editorial reviews to his name, and is author of Neuromuscular Ultrasound.
Dr. Walker holds a medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine, and completed an internship, residency, and fellowship with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He also held a Fellowship at University of Michigan Medical School. He has served as chair of the examination committee of the American Board of Electrodiagnostic Medicine and as a member of the examination committee of the American Board of Neuromuscular Medicine.
Related Author: Michael S. Cartwright, MD