About Us

Our Mission

USSONAR (Ultrasound School of North American Rheumatologists) is a society of rheumatologists, physicians, and health professionals in North America working to promote the use of musculoskeletal ultrasonography to advance the care of patients with rheumatic diseases.

The society has three aims:

  1. Fostering the training of physicians and allied health professionals in ultrasonography for the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of arthritis and musculoskeletal disorders.
  2. Establishing standards of competency in ultrasound image acquisition, interpretation and reporting.
  3. Promoting research in the field of musculoskeletal ultrasound.

Our Leadership

Paul J DeMarco MD, FACP, FACR

USSONAR President

  • Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine
  • Georgetown University School of Medicine
  • Partner, Arthritis and Rheumatism Associates


  • Former co-director of the Rheumatology Fellowship Program at Washington Hospital Center
  • MSUS instructor at ACR 2010 course

Jay Higgs MD

USSONAR President

  • Rheumatology Fellowship Program Director
  • San Antonio Military Medical Center, San Antonio TX


  • Wrote the curriculum for musculoskeletal ultrasound training in US rheumatology fellowship programs
  • Established a musculoskeletal ultrasound training program at San Antonio Military Medical Center
  • USSONAR liaison to the rheumatology fellowship program directors

Gurjit S. Kaeley MBBS, MRCP

USSONAR Program Co-Director

  • Division of Rheumatology
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
  • Director, Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Program
  • University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville, FL


  • Member of OMERACT group for musculoskeletal ultrasound
  • ACR Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Certification Task Force Member

Eugene Kissin MD

USSONAR Program Director & Past President

  • Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology
  • Fellowship Program Director
  • Director of Resident and Student Education in Rheumatology
  • Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA


  • Recipient of the ACR REF Clinician Scholar Educator Award 2010 for development of musculoskeletal ultrasound fellowship teaching program
  • Established musculoskeletal ultrasound fellowship training and credentialing process for rheumatologists at Boston University Medical Center
  • ACR Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Certification Task Force Member
  • Boston’s “Top Docs” 2010-16
  • Boston University Excellence in Clinical Teaching Award 2011, 2014, 2016

Clara Lin MD

USSONAR Vice-President

  • Assistant Professor, Children's Hospital Colorado


  • One of the first pediatric fellows to graduate the USSONAR fellow program 2012
  • Established pediatric musculoskeletal ultrasound in the Pediatric Rheumatology Department at University of California-San Francisco
  • Co-author of The Rheumatologists Guide to Musculoskeletal Ultrasound - Pediatric Musculoskeletal Ultrasound

Midori Jane Nishio MD


  • Rheumatologist
  • Walnut Creek, CA


  • Established a rheumatology ultrasound clinic at Stanford teaching hospital where she teaches musculoskeletal ultrasound to the Stanford rheumatology fellows
  • Private practice with ultrasound since 2004
  • Has organized USSONAR clinical studies

Karina Torralba MD, FACR, CCD

USSONAR Secretary

  • Associate Professor of Medicine, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
  • Chief of Rheumatology, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA
  • Fellowship Program Director, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA


  • Received the ACR REF Clinician Scholar Educator Award, 2008

Our Mentors

Rany Al Haj MD

  • Shore Arthritis & Rheumatism Associates, PC
  • Ocean, NJ


  • Has many years of experience as a lecturer for the Cooper University Musculoskeletal ultrasound course
  • Trained in MSUS with Ralf Thiele at Cooper University

Jemima Albayda MD

  • Director, Rapid Arthritis Care & Evaluation Clinic, Johns Hopkins University


  • Graduate of USSONAR Fellow Program 2013

Fawad Aslam MBBS

  • Assistant Professor, Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, Arizona


  • USSONAR graduate 2012
  • RhMSUS certified
  • Instructor at University of Florida Musculoskeletal Ultrasound course and cadaver workshop

Catherine Bakewell MD

  • Clinical Faculty at the University of Washington Medical Center
  • Clinical Faculty VA Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA


  • Introduced MSUS to the rheumatology fellowship training program at the VA Puget Sound in Seattle, Washington
  • ACR/REF Rheumatology Fellowship Training Award
  • Resident Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Washington Dep. Medicine
  • Graduate of USSONAR Fellow Program 2010

Narandra Bethina MD, RhMSUS

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • Associate Program Director, Rheumatology Fellowship, University of Vermont


  • Graduate of USSONAR program 2013
  • Established Musculoskeletal Ultrasound clinic within Division of Rheumatology, University of Vermont
  • Hands-on instructor at the USSONAR Jacksonville Ultrasound Workshop (2014)

Amy Cannella MD

USSONAR Treasurer

  • Assistant Professor Medicine
  • Rheumatology Fellowship Program Director
  • University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE


  • Trained in MSUS with David Kane in Glasgow, Scotland
  • A member of the ACR Resident Education Subcommittee

Amy M. Evangelisto MD

  • Arthritis, Rheumatic and Back Disease Associates
  • Voorhees, NJ


  • Former director of the Cooper University musculoskeletal ultrasound program and the Cooper University musculoskeletal ultrasound course
  • Has trained with the musculoskeletal ultrasound group in Leeds, England

David E Feinstein DO

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, NJ


  • Course Director, Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Course for Rheumatologists: The Antonio J. Reginato Course
  • Teacher of musculoskeletal ultrasound to Rheumatology fellows, medical residents, and medical students affiliated with Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
  • Trained in musculoskeletal ultrasound at Cooper Hospital with Ralf Thiele, Amy Evangelisto, and Rany Al-Haj
  • RMSK certified by the ARDMS

Bernard Hildebrand

  • San Antonio Military Medical Center


  • USSONAR graduate 2009

Lily Kao MD

  • Evergreen Medical Group, San Jose, CA


  • Graduate of USSONAR 2011

Prashant Kaushik MD

  • Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Albany, NY
  • Section Chief, Rheumatology, Stratton VA Medical Center, Albany, NY
  • Program Director, Rheumatology Fellowship, Albany Medical College


  • Teacher of the year, Albany Medical College, June 2015
  • Teacher of the year, UND SMHS, North Dakota, 2008-2009
  • Teacher of the year, LSU HSC, Baton Rouge, LA, 2005

Minna J. Kohler, MD

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Director, Rheumatology Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Program


  • Graduate of USSONAR 2011
  • Established the first dedicated rheumatology MSKUS clinic at MGH in 2011

Kyla Lokitz, MD

  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University-Health Science Center Shreveport
  • Louisiana Arthritis and Rheumatology


  • USSONAR graduate 2011

Daniel G. Malone MD

  • Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine Rheumatology Section Medical College of Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI


  • Established musculoskeletal ultrasound in the Rheumatology section at University of Wisconsin
  • Recipient of a teaching award from the house staff at University of Wisconsin
  • Author on over 2 dozen scientific papers, 20 abstracts, and several book chapters
  • RMSK certified by the ARDMS

Bethany Marston

  • Educational director, assistant fellowship director for adult rheumatology, University of Rochester/Strong Memorial Hospital
  • Assistant Professor Department of Pediatrics, Immunology and Rheumatology

Karim Masri, MD

  • Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center of Richmond


  • Graduate of USSONAR in 2015
  • Certified in ACR RhMSUS in 2016

Edward Oberle, MD

  • Nationwide Children's Hospital


  • USSONAR graduate 2014

Charles Pritchard MD

  • Clinical Assistant Professor of Rheumatology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA
  • Associate Professor of Medicine at Abington Memorial Hospital in Abington, PA
  • Private practice at the Rheumatology Specialty Center in Willow Grove, PA


  • Trained in MSUS with Drs Jacobson, Nazarian and others
  • Helped start the MSUS program at Drexel

Johannes Roth MD

  • Associate Professor of Pediatric
  • University of Ottawa
  • Head, Pediatric Rheumatology
  • Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
  • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


  • President, Canadian Rheumatology Ultrasound Society
  • Achieved Standardization of Pediatric Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Assessments

Elizabeth Russell, MD

Jonathan Samuels MD

  • Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • Director, NYU Clinical Immunology Lab
  • NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases


  • NYU Rheumatology teacher of the year 2010

Manpreet Sethi, MD

  • Aurora Healthcare, 15619 Center Rd, Cleveland, WI 53015


  • Resident teacher of the year award 2013
  • Fellow Graduate of USSONAR 2015

Darren Tabechian MD

  • Associate Professor Department of Medicine, Allergy/Immunology and Rheumatology University of Rochester

Patricia Vega-Fernandez MD, RhMSUS

  • Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Emory University


  • Graduate of USSONAR Program 2013

Karen Yeter MD

  • Healthcare Partners Medical Group, Long Beach, CA


  • graduated from the USSONAR program in 2012