My Turn: Promoting RSNA and Radiology

Radiology’s critical role in improving patient care

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Bruce G. Haffty, MD, is RSNA president  and associate vice chancellor, Cancer Programs, at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences. He also serves as professor and chairman in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. At Rutgers’ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Jersey Medical School and Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Dr. Haffty spearheaded the expansion of the radiation oncology program and developed residency programs in radiation oncology and medical physics.

As I start my term as RSNA president, I am so impressed by all that RSNA has done in research, education and innovation to advance the radiologic sciences and improve patient care.

As a treating radiation oncologist, I have a different perspective of imaging from our diagnostic imaging members. I view imaging through its value as a critical tool in my own practice, as a critical management and decision-making tool to the multidisciplinary team caring for our patients, and as a key patient resource.

For patients, the value of imaging is often demonstrated as the cornerstone for decision making — from screening recommendations through treatment management, follow-up and survivorship. The incredible advances in imaging over the past several years have had a significant impact not only in oncology, but also in all of medicine. Having served on multiple committees, the RSNA Board, and now as RSNA president, I have a much greater appreciation of RSNA’s critical role in moving the field of radiologic sciences forward in the ultimate interest of improving patient care and the lives of the patients we serve.

RSNA’s R&E Foundation grants millions of dollars each year to fund innovative research and educational projects that support young investigators and future leaders. RSNA brings clinicians, scientists, physicists and industry together in programs such as QIBA to set standards for quantitative imaging. RSNA has led multiple initiatives in artificial intelligence, including our new Imaging AI Certificate and the subspecialty journal Radiology: Artificial Intelligence. Through RSNA’s entire family of journals that publish the latest advances in imaging research, as well as the research and educational content presented at the largest annual radiology meeting in the world, RSNA has significantly impacted the field of radiologic sciences. These are just a handful of programs and products that would not be possible without RSNA. Importantly, all of these programs and countless others supported by RSNA significantly move the field of radiology forward by demonstrating the value of imaging and improving patient care.

RSNA is a highly functional organization that brings the appropriate people together to advance the radiologic sciences. The incredibly talented professional staff and the tireless efforts of our many volunteers are a tribute to how the organization and its membership collaborate to advance the field. RSNA’s robust organizational structure drives its mission of promoting excellence in patient care and health care delivery through education, research and technologic innovation.

While the COVID pandemic has clearly impacted all of our lives and practices, RSNA, its staff and  dedicated volunteers continued to function and produce at an outstanding level through virtual meetings for nearly two years.

RSNA 2021 brought many of us back together again to McCormick Place, where the energy and excitement were palpable. With 100% of eligible content available virtually, many of our colleagues locally and throughout the world were able to fully appreciate all the meeting had to offer if they were unable to attend in person.

While we remain hopeful for more  in-person meetings as well as virtual options in the coming year, the virtual experience has taught us many lessons about what can be accomplished despite significant barriers and has opened new avenues of communication.

As RSNA president, I plan to help increase awareness among our patients and our partners in other medical specialty societies of all that RSNA has to offer. RSNA’s contributions to the field and to patient care are something we all should be proud of.