My Turn: Adaptability

Virtual RSNA 2020 offers outstanding education and networking opportunities during challenging year

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James P. Borgstede, MD, is president of RSNA. He is a professor of radiology at the University of Colorado in Denver. He is also vice chair of professional services, clinical operations, quality and safety for the Department of Radiology at the University of Colorado.

Welcome to RSNA 2020: Human Insight/ Visionary Medicine and our sensational virtual format which allows you to participate in our annual meeting from the comfort of your home or office at your convenience. We have extended the live meeting to seven days, Nov. 29 through Dec. 5, which includes two weekend days and allows you to balance your meeting attendance with a full work schedule.

As RSNA president, I’m excited about this year’s meeting and the unique opportunities it offers, including more than 350 science and education sessions, many with live Q & A. The meeting also features more than 2,000 digital posters and education exhibits covering every subspecialty available to view on demand throughout the week.

Attendees will also have full access to exhibitors with the ability to schedule meetings tailored to their needs. There will be live industry demonstrations, presentations and networking opportunities. Exhibitors will host pre-show presentations during the week. And we will have dedicated time to discover the latest innovations in equipment and software.

Many of the meeting’s most popular features are back this year, including Cases of the Day, Fast 5 and our interesting and inspiring plenary sessions. I also hope you will join me, virtually, for our annual 5k Fun Run to benefit the R&E Foundation.

In keeping with our theme of Human Insight/Visionary Medicine, our plenary speakers this year include Dr. Kristen DeStigter, who will follow my President’s Address with her opening session lecture. Shankar Vedantam, of National Public Radio fame, will present the New Horizons Lecture. Dr. Bhavya Rehani will give the Annual Oration in Diagnostic Radiology. Dr. Beth Erickson will deliver the Annual Oration in Radiation Oncology, and Drs. Thomas Grist and Charles Mistretta share the RSNA/AAPM Symposium.

When I last wrote a My Turn column, at the beginning of my RSNA presidency I envisioned a year focused on quality patient care, patient interaction and the opportunities for RSNA to impact radiologic care across the world through multi-organizational unity. Then the COVID-19 pandemic changed our world.

My goals throughout the year have not changed, yet their focus and direction certainly did. Radiologic patient care became COVID-19 focused. Radiologists worldwide have faced challenges brought on by the pandemic. How do we interact with patients and colleagues, sometimes rely, in this COVID era while still providing the high-quality care patients require and expect?

While adapting to a new normal, we have all seen that organizational unity and partnerships are now more important than ever. I’m pleased with our collaboration across organizations and health care institutions as we fight this virus.

My activities as president have also changed. Typically, the RSNA president travels worldwide throughout the year speaking at conferences and engaging with other radiology leaders. Most of my engagements this year have been virtual. In fact, my last plane flight was the return trip from a meeting with our Mexican radiologist colleagues in Mexico City in early February. Who knew what lay ahead!

We will overcome this virus and a new normal life will evolve. Radiologists are the technological visionaries in health care. RSNA 2020 showcases our technical and clinical skills while keeping our human insight into patient needs at the forefront.

My thanks to all of you for the work you are doing for our patients in these difficult times. My thanks to the wonderful RSNA staff for their innovation, insight and vision in working through a challenging and perplexing year. Most of all, my thanks to my wonderful family, particularly my wife Martha, for all of their support throughout my radiology career and my RSNA presidency.

Let’s enjoy our annual meeting!