(This report was presented to the Board of Directors during RSNA 2007.)
A Society-wide analysis in 2007 revealed that RSNA’s international presence is growing by leaps and bounds, as measured with a variety of metrics including membership, annual meeting participation and attendance and Radiology submissions. Members outside North America now make up nearly 18 percent of RSNA membership, with international membership forecast to increase more than 40 percent in the next five years.
RSNA has created this global identity through continued excellence in its annual meeting, publications and programming to support members in their education, research and practice—the very same pillars that have supported the Society for 93 years. With the unflagging commitment of Society leaders, volunteers and staff, RSNA can only expect its influence to grow.
RSNA barely stopped to celebrate the record setting RSNA 2006 technical exhibition and continued strong attendance throughout the last several years before planning even more enhancements to the annual meeting. Offered at RSNA 2007 were one-day quality and molecular imaging symposia and the four-day Bolstering Oncoradiologic and Oncoradiotherapeutic Skills for Tomorrow (BOOST) program focused on increasing interaction between radiation oncologists and diagnostic radiologists.
Other new offerings at RSNA 2007 included half-day series courses in gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal and neuroradiology, a five-afternoon interventional oncology series and a one-day mentored cardiac CT case review. RSNA was also pleased to offer the popular Cases of the Day exhibits in electronic format.
The newest phase of the RadLex® radiology lexicon, the RadLex Playbook, was released during RSNA 2007. Overseen by RSNA with support from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), RadLex is intended to be the standard for information produced by radiologists and now contains more than 10,000 terms.
At RSNA 2007, the Society launched a new way to measure attendee use of some annual meeting features. Radiofrequency identification (RFID) chips in the badges of professional registrants were read by devices stationed at the entrances and exits of the technical exhibit halls and Lakeside Learning Center. Information provided by the devices is helping RSNA learn how attendees use these areas and make improvements where appropriate. Attendees who wished not to wear RFID chips could opt out of the program.
Looking ahead to RSNA 2008, RSNA has added a new Applied Science exhibit category. The new category is expected to feature submissions that demonstrate non-hypothesis-based work not yet generally accepted enough in practice to be considered an education exhibit.
The more than 300 attendees of RSNA’s first Highlights™ conference in Phoenix in February 2007 were extremely pleased with the intimate environment and superb, cutting-edge course content.
Encouraged by the success, the Society continues to plan for RSNA Highlights 2008: Clinical Issues, to be held February 18–20 in Orlando. Original content will be mixed with courses and educational exhibits from RSNA 2007, with an emphasis on cardiac, thoracic, head and neck and breast imaging.
In addition to growth in international membership, RSNA has also seen a rise in the number of scientific and education abstracts submitted for the annual meeting by international participants. International attendance at the annual meeting has risen 14 percent over the last five years. Submissions to Radiology by international authors have increased from 56 percent of total submissions in 2000 to 64 percent in 2006.
RSNA uses its analysis of international interest in the Society to help plan its outreach efforts. In 2007, Society representatives traveled to the European Congress of Radiology (ECR), the annual meeting of the Sociedad Mexicana de Radiología e Imagen and the Chinese Congress of Radiology. In 2008, RSNA will be represented at ECR and meetings of the Japan Radiological Society, Italian Society of Medical Radiology and Canadian Association of Radiologists as well as the International Congress of Radiology and Asian Oceanian Congress of Radiology.
In 2008, RSNA International Visiting Professor teams will travel to China, Nigeria, Mexico and Vietnam.
Quantitative Imaging and Biomarkers
RSNA remains committed to helping transform radiology from a qualitative to quantitative science, to help patients benefit from accelerated development and dissemination of new pharmacologic, biologic and interventional diagnosis and treatment approaches.To this end, RSNA has renamed its Department of Research the Department of Scientific Affairs and expanded the department to include a physician science advisor, Daniel Sullivan, M.D., to coordinate all biomarker efforts. Work is already underway on several projects—including forums for representatives of professional societies, industry and academic programs and annual meeting sessions related to quantitative imaging—aimed at establishing the Society as an international leader in the imaging biomarker area. RSNA co-hosted a molecular imaging workshop in September and is supporting related efforts at the NCI and NIBIB through RadLex, the Medical Imaging Resource Center (MIRC™) and the Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE®) initiative. RSNA is a contributing member of The Biomarkers Consortium, a public-private partnership to advance knowledge about specific biomarkers and their clinical applications.
In 2007, RSNA focused on developing customizable learning tools to offer members mechanisms by which they can readily access, store and share educational content—including lectures, teaching cases, images, journal articles, exhibits and other useful reference material—relevant to their own interests and practice needs through a variety of media.Unveiled at RSNA 2007 was MyRSNA™, which allows members to decide the content and services they want displayed each time they go to the RSNA Web site. The design should feel familiar to users of iGoogle™ or My Yahoo!®, the personalized Web pages on which MyRSNA was modeled. RSNA is working with the American Association of Physicists in Medicine to develop an online program to educate radiology residents about the physics of imaging procedures. With the education committee of the Association of Program Directors in Radiology, RSNA is developing a Web-based learning portfolio for residents to document their activities as now required by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
RSNA’s presence also continues to grow as a result of increased media relations activities. Media coverage of radiology research featured at the RSNA annual meeting and in Radiology totaled 7,835 placements reaching a potential audience of nearly 7.8 billion in 2006.
This increased coverage has helped the media and the public understand more about the role of radiologists and medical imaging in their healthcare. Recent additions to the public information initiatives, including radio public service announcements and a 60-second check-up radio program, have further increased awareness.
RSNA is pleased to welcome Herbert Y. Kressel, M.D., as the next editor of Radiology. Dr. Kressel succeeds Anthony V. Proto, M.D., who retired as Radiology editor at the end of 2007.
Starting with the January–February 2008 issue, 16 new pages in each issue of RadioGraphics will focus on quality improvement topics. This new section is edited by Associate Editor Jonathan B. Kruskal, M.D., Ph.D.
RSNA continues to develop materials and activities to support members in fulfilling the practice quality improvement (PQI) component of the American Board of Radiology maintenance of certification (MOC) process. Two quality roundtables were offered in addition to the quality symposium at RSNA 2007, and RSNA has created a PQI “starter kit” that will be posted on RSNA.org.
RSNA’s reputation at home and abroad is the result of the commitment to professionalism and hard work of our members. I join the rest of the Board in thanking our many dedicated and accomplished volunteers who make RSNA and its programs relevant, essential and outstanding.
Gary J. Becker, M.D.Chairman, 2007 RSNA Board of Directors