Susan Ascher, MD, FSCBTMR
Co-Director Abdominal Imaging
Medstar Georgetown University Hospital
"History Has it's Eyes on You"
For those who have spent any time with me, you know that the show “Hamilton” had a huge impact on me. I used the song featuring the above lyric as the subject of my Ted-like talk at the 2017 annual meeting in Nashville. And the lyric continues to resonate. Let me explain.
On April 12th and 13th the SCBT.MR board of directors plus society members, Drs. Dushyant Sahani, Nicole Hindman, Desiree Morgan, Neil Rofsky and Carolyn Wang, met to look to the future of “The Society”. It was an auspicious occasion--the 40th anniversary of our incorporation, and we paid homage to the founding innovators who believed in the power of the nascent technology known as CT. It was in that spirit that we discussed and debated our direction for the next 40 years. Unlike Moses, no wandering in the desert for us. Rather we formulated a DFS—Desired Future State in consultancy lingo—one which I believe firmly reflects our three- fold commitment to innovation, mentorship and education. We are “the Society for innovation and translation of cutting edge technology into the practice of body imaging, in an engaging and inclusive environment that fosters the development of members through mentorship and education.
With the DFS in place, it was on to action. The group divided up and we formed “champion teams” to address how to advance our goals to include key performance indicators, action items and target timelines. For example, we appointed “champions” Drs. Neil Rofsky and Carolyn Wang to formalize our commitment to mentoring. They are tasked to develop a certificate course for early and mid-career radiologists with concentration areas in publication, promotion, leadership etc. This grew out of a standing-room-only workshop that Neil gave on “Building Leaders” at the 2019 annual meeting. Stay tuned for the application process!
We will be rolling out other new initiatives in the coming months and we welcome your candid feedback. One initiative is ready to debut—our formal affiliation with JCAT. Dr. Allen Elster, JCAT’s Editor-in-Chief has been a welcoming partner and I am pleased to announce that Dr. Eric Tamm has agreed to serve as our inaugural Associate Editor. Please read Eric’s piece in this newsletter for more information about this exciting new opportunity for our members.
I hope that when future members of the Society look back over what we began in April 2019 they will be pleased. We undertook these initiatives respectful of our storied past, focused on our future, and cognizant that history had its eyes on us.
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SCBT-MR 2019 Gold Medal Announcement
The Board of Directors of the Society of Computed Body Tomography and Magnetic Resonance are proud to announce the recipients of the SCBT-MR Gold Medal for 2019. Gold medals are awarded in recognition of leadership to the society and extraordinary contributions to the art and science of body imaging.
||N. Reed Dunnick, MD
Fred Jenner Hodges Professor, Radiology
Division of Abdominal Radiology
After completing a residency in Diagnostic Radiology at Stanford University, Dr. Dunnick moved to the NIH as a staff radiologist, where he developed an interest in genitourinary tract radiology. He spent 11 years on the faculty at Duke University before moving to Ann Arbor in 1992 to become the Fred Jenner Hodges Professor and Chair of the Department of Radiology at the University of Michigan. After 26 years, he stepped down as Chair and remains an active faculty focusing on professional development and imaging research. Learn More
||Jeffrey Weinreb, MD
Professor of Radiology and
Yale School of Medicine
Dr. Jeffrey C. Weinreb is Director of the MRI Service at Yale-New Haven Hospital and Professor in the Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging at the Yale School of Medicine. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the MIT, he received his MD from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He has held faculty positions at UT Southwestern Medical School, Columbia College for Physicians and Surgeons, and NYU School of Medicine, where he was Director of MRI for 15 years and led a group that pioneered the development of Body MRI. Learn More
We can move the needle on creating the specialty our patients deserve if we are willing to walk boldly toward the barriers that hold us back.
||Katarzyna J. Macura, MD, PhD, FACR
We’ve long known that radiology is one of the least diverse specialties — lagging behind much of medicine when it comes to participation by women and underrepresented minorities (URMs). But knowing this is not the same as doing something about it.
In 2012, the ACR BOC approved the creation of a new Commission for Women and Diversity to address the lack of diversity in our radiological professions. The Commission was to serve as an advisory group to the BOC on the status of women and other minorities and its goals were to:
Conduct research, analyze economic and social trends, and provide education on women’s and diversity issues in the radiology community
Identify inequities in practices and procedures, and recommend and promote remedies, policies, and programs to enhance the working and learning environments in radiology
Communicate with the ACR membership through publications in the ACR Bulletin and JACR®
Participate in educational activities focused on mentorship and leadership development
At the 2013 ACR Annual Meeting and Chapter Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., I joined the BOC as chair of the new Commission and wondered, “Where does radiology fit along the spectrum of the diversity movement?” Diversity 1.0 focused on the elimination of inequalities and injustices as a human right. Diversity 2.0 addressed how the implementation of diversity programs allows access and enables the success of racial and ethnic minorities. The Commission’s above mentioned goals were part of the Diversity 2.0 strategy — with a vision to move the College and its membership to the Diversity 3.0 level. With Diversity 3.0, diversity and inclusion get to the center of the institutional mission as an integral ingredient for achieving excellence.
At ACR 2015, the Council voted to adopt Resolution 14, which affirmed the College’s commitment to diversity and positioned it as a priority for the organization going forward.
The American College of Radiology affirms that diversity of our membership, and of the radiological professions in general, strengthens our organization and enhances our ability to achieve our mission. The American College of Radiology affirms that diversity of our membership is a central objective and that opportunities to continually measure and assess our membership diversity should be promoted.
With the endorsement from the house of radiology acknowledging diversity as a core value and strategy, we opened the door to implementing the Diversity 3.0 paradigm — where diversity is considered “a strategic imperative.”
In 2017 the ACR Intersociety Summer Conference took on the topic of diversity in radiology. The Intersociety Committee reviewed the current state of diversity among trainees and in our workplaces and addressed future strategies for fostering diversity through inclusion. A summary of the meeting was subsequently published in the JACR.
The ACR and the Commission are committed to policies and programs that address the shortage of women and URMs in the radiological profession. As chair of the Commission, I’ve realized that part of the solution lies in us acknowledging our biases and learning to “walk boldly toward them,” as activist Vernã Myers puts it.
Our Commission has embarked on projects that move the needle forward in recognizing existing barriers and building strategies to overcome them. We implemented a mentoring program for minority medical students — the Pipeline Initiative for the Enrichment of Radiology (PIER). We conducted a national survey of ACR members in which we queried physicians’ attitudes about their work environment, relationships, and culture. We sought to determine if responses differed by gender or race/ethnicity, with a goal to identify potential impediments to building a diverse workforce in radiology professions.
Although we have made some headway, there remains a lot of work ahead of us. We need to create just and equitable work environments with policies, productivity targets, and incentives that are transparent and non-discriminatory. We will benefit from allowing flexibility in the workplace, offering family-friendly leave policies to encourage work/life integration, and promoting well-being — while addressing the causes of burnout. Fostering a culture of diversity and inclusivity will benefit not only our specialty but also the patients we serve.
By Katarzyna J. Macura, MD, PhD, FACR
"The Right Exposure"
Limited exposure for medical students could leave the specialty in the shadows.
There are plenty of jobs for radiologists, and the pay is good. AI looks more like a time-saving tool than a threat to the specialty. Plus, this year’s radiology residency and fellowship match was stellar. So why aren’t more medical students getting excited about radiology?
It depends on who you ask regarding how students perceive the specialty — who radiologists are, what they actually do, etc. Still, no one argues that first- and second-year medical students have practically no xposure to the field. It pops up intheir third year, is mainly an elective, can be boring, and usually includes limited hands-on experience.
According to Andrea A. Birch, MD, associate professor of clinical radiology and radiological sciences at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, the need for radiologists is greater than ever. “Our roles in assessing and treating patients are unparalleled compared to the way they were even ten years ago,” Birch says.
Residency and fellowship programs in both diagnostic and IR continue to see a high fill rate — based on preliminary numbers released in March by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). All IR program slots were filled, and only 10 diagnostic radiology programs in the country reported unfilled PGY-2 slots (the year following an intern year, but before residency begins). With more medical students matching to their desired radiology residency programs, it would seem the pipeline of talent into the specialty is wide open.
The problem is not that medical students aren’t interested in radiology, but that the need for primary care providers — especially in underresourced and underserved areas — is so great that some medical schools leverage institutional priorities in their mission statements and encourage students to seek out primary care specialties, Birch says.
According to Birch, “When you compound that with the fact that there is a shortage of PCPs, it makes it hard for schools to promote radiology.” Unfortunately, there is a real need for medical students to understand that radiology is more than looking at images during group rounds. “That’s their perception because it is often the only way they interact with the radiology department,” Birch says.
“Diagnostic radiology is the one rotation in medical school where you don’t ‘do’ what the doctor does,” says Ann K. Jay, MD, program director of diagnostic radiology residency at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. “That’s one of the benefits of the IR rotation,” Jay says. “With IR, students are actively participating in the duties of an interventionalist, where in DR rotations the students are watching others ‘do’ radiology. Engagement and interest can be difficult to sustain, which ultimately has an effect on students’ impressions of our field.”
Students may also get the impression that radiology interpretation can be performed by other types of physicians. “If chest X-rays are taught by pulmonologists and MSK studies are taught by orthopedists, it conveys the message to students that a level of expertise is not needed to be a radiologist,” Jay says.
Misconceptions about AI also contribute to some students’ reservations about choosing radiology as a specialty. With the help of the lay media, students might be inclined to think AI is going to displace the field, Jay says. “But radiologists are actually leading the efforts for the implementation of AI in imaging,” she says. “I tell students that using AI in daily clinical practice is a tool that radiologists want — as it will only help us in improving patient care.”
Driving other misconceptions is a lack of exposure to radiology in preclinical years — at least not in a robust or effective manner, Jay says. Research shows that students participating in a curriculum offering radiology in their first year believe the specialty has greater importance to the overall practice of medicine, are more likely to choose radiology as a clinical elective, and are more likely to consider it as a career track. Add to that, most medical students at some point could become referring clinicians.
It isn’t fair to expect teaching institutions to unilaterally promote radiology at their own expense, Birch admits. The onus is on faculty and other seasoned radiology professionals to spark interest and present a clearer picture of the field.
For instance, misconceptions abound when it comes to radiation, even among medical students. Radiologists can allay concerns by presenting the literature on exposure to medical scans and any associated risks. Students may also view radiology as lacking in opportunities for direct patient interaction. “That is far from the case for me as a breast imager,” Birch says. She tells students that she talks to patients daily — and that surgeons and other providers follow her recommendations to care for patients.
Connecting with students to present the appealing aspects of radiology can be a juggling act, Jay says. She organizes student lectures as often as possible — but they are largely given by fourth-year medical students or first-year residents. Jay notes that getting senior residents, fellows, and faculty involved in the conversation would have more impact. “But it’s a time commitment,” she says, “and there’s no compensation aside from educational credits. Some institutions don’t even offer that.” Read More
As has been noted in the President’s Address in this newsletter, the Society is embarking on a major venture, forming an official affiliation with the Journal of Computed Axial Tomography (JCAT). I have the privilege to serve as the Society liaison to JCAT, serving as an Associate Editor, working with the Editor-in-Chief, Allen Elster to bring these two great organizations together. We anticipate that this will result in many opportunities for Society members, and JCAT, as well as providing a new voice for the Society in support of its educational and scientific missions.
During this process, we will be learning how each other’s organization operates, will be aligning the structure of each to work well with the other to meet our mutual goals, and then reaching out to the Society to recruit for key positions.
Currently, we are at the very beginning of this process, at the learning phase. We have held initial meetings between Dr. Elster, the staff of the publisher, Susan Ascher, Scott Reeder, Michele Wittling and myself. I will be learning about the day-to-day workings of JCAT.
Eric Tamm, MD, FSCBT-MR
The Society of Computed Body Tomography & Magnetic Resonance is pleased to announce that as of 2019, JCAT, (Journal of Computed Assisted Tomography) has become the Official Journal of the Society of Computed Body Tomography & Magnetic Resonance (SCBT-MR).
Since its founding in 1979, the SCBT-MR has always championed cutting edge technological advances first in CT and then in MR to enhance the clinical practice of body imaging. The affiliation of SCBT-MR with JCAT will further that mission.
The mission of Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography is to showcase the latest clinical and research developments in CT, MR, and closely related diagnostic techniques. JCAT is now in its 43 year of operation, making it the world’s oldest journal dedicated to CT and MR imaging. Submission of both original research and review articles that have immediate or promissory clinical applications are accepted.
What does this mean for SCBT-MR Members?
- First, a significant discount on the online subscription price ($250 for active and fellow members, $99 for Members In Training)
- An opportunity to participate on the editorial staff of the journal in several capacities.
- A preferred review of abstracts for publication
- Opportunity to submit case reports
- Discounts on other journals and books from the publisher
Both the SCBT-MR and JCAT are excited about this new relationship and look forward to a mutually beneficial alliance. Visit www.scbtmr.org to learn more.
Benjamin M. Yeh, MD
University of California, San Francisco
Dr Benjamin M. Yeh, MD, is a Professor in the Abdominal Imaging Section in the Department of Radiology at the University of California, San Francisco. He first attended SCBT MR as a trainee in 2001, joined as a member in 2005, and was names a Fellow in 2006. Yeh served as a member of the communications committee on Dual Energy CT. He was instrumental in writing a white paper on DECT. Yeh is a Hounsfield award co-recipient and recently received the award for his case presentation, “Don’t Let This Happen To You”.
During his first SCBT MR meeting as a trainee, Yeh recalls being awed by the quality and substance of the talks he. He was especially moved by the warm welcome he received from Hank Goldberg, a senior faculty.
“I have since encouraged our trainees to attend SCBT MR,” Yeh said. “Like myself, I know they have benefitted from the excitement and collegiality of the society members that they meet.”
Yeh loves the SCBT MR meeting because of the rich mix of dynamic innovators in body imaging who attend the SCBT MR to share their thoughts and to learn from each other. He believes that this high level of collaboration is incredibly valuable and essential to advancing medicine.
“ I have been inspired by thinkers who have pushed the bounds of what we can do with medical imaging, and who help me navigate the struggles of daily practice,” Yeh said. “The scientific sessions and openness of discourse attracts the best of our field, many of whom do not regularly attend other body imaging society meetings”.
Through SCBT MR, Yeh has come to recognize the interdependence of industry, radiology, and academia. Each could not exist without the other, Yeh says. He hopes to continue building valuable lines of communication and emphasizes that advances in radiology cannot occur without advances in commercial radiology. For the future, Yeh believes that finding ways for academic radiology to ethically guide and spur needed commercial development should be a priority.
SCBT-MR is trying to increase the society's out reach of and involve more members in society information. The communications committee hopes to use social media to create a space where members can stay up to date, and connect on society news. As well as learn from recent research and members can share and discuss relevant materials. Follow us, and interact with the various posts. The more interaction on the social media pages, the boarder viewership.