The Value of Volunteering Across the RSNA Universe

Your role in making our field better

Umar Mahmood, MD, PhD
Umar Mahmood, MD, PhD, is chair of the RSNA Board of Directors. He is chief of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, director of the Center for Precision Imaging, and associate chair for imaging sciences in the Department of Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital and professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School in Boston. An accomplished researcher, he has received more than $25 million in grant funding as principal investigator, primarily from the National Institutes of Health, for his research into the applications of molecular imaging to guide precision medicine, particularly in developing and applying positron emission tomography and optical imaging technologies for disease characterization and therapy optimization.

As I start my term as chair of the Board of Directors of RSNA, I am reflecting on what RSNA has meant to me personally over my career, how we each benefit from our collective understanding and advancement of the field, and how we all contribute in our own ways to make radiology better.

Some of my earliest engagements with RSNA, when I was a radiology resident, included presenting at the RSNA annual meeting, receiving an RSNA R&E grant and publishing a first author article in our premier journal Radiology. All of this was only possible because generations of radiologists had contributed to the R&E Foundation and had supported and built Radiology into the premier journal in  imaging, and the fact that teams of volunteers were willing to review abstracts, build an amazing scientific program and preside over the sessions as moderators. These experiences offered me a view of what could be: what the field of radiology might become, how people with an amazingly diverse array of interests could add collectively to such a meaningful advancement of our field every year and how I could be a part of this.

As I progressed in my career, the number of opportunities to volunteer with RSNA continued to grow. While I did my part to help the field with my specific knowledge and experiences, there was also an incredible benefit to me. I gained a much deeper understanding of our field, expanded my horizons by considering ideas and research advancements to which I would have otherwise not been exposed and made numerous lifelong friends through the journey.

It is important to remember that volunteers help shape the future of RSNA and that volunteers truly are the backbone of the Society. It is difficult to balance all the roles in our lives; however, given the accelerated innovation in radiology and the exponential growth in knowledge, it is more important than ever to engage. Volunteering allows you to directly help guide tomorrow’s radiology.

We can all contribute in our own ways. Think about what you care about, what you know and what ideas you would like to share with others. Among the numerous opportunities that RSNA offers, you can contribute your expertise in research, education, supporting the scientific assembly or publications. There are over sixty Board appointed committees spanning these areas. In addition to this breadth of engagement, RSNA offers opportunities for people of all career stages. Whether you are a resident, a fellow, early in your career, in mid-career or later in your career, RSNA would benefit from your involvement. There are so many ways to engage with the Society from short-term opportunities and trainee editorial boards to serving as a committee chair. Right now, more than 1,000 of your colleagues are volunteering as active RSNA committee members.

In particular, I would like to draw your attention to a unique volunteer leadership opportunity: service on the RSNA Board of Directors. The Board of Directors helps guide the direction of the Society. Each year we look to bring on a new voice to the Board; this year we have the opportunity to bring on two new Board members. Some of the experience and qualifications we are looking for include scholarly publications; quality; public information and communications; and diversity, equity and inclusion. The Board Call for Nominations runs Feb. 1 through March 20, 2024, so please start thinking now about how you might engage with RSNA.

If you think you would like to be involved, please nominate yourself. RSNA is like a multi-thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle. Each piece is unique and meaningfully adds to the whole, and the amazing puzzle wouldn’t be complete without your contributions.

For More Information

Discover RSNA volunteer opportunities at

Learn more about the nomination process for the RSNA Board of Directors at