The upcoming year has many great opportunities for the Resident-Fellow-Student (RFS) section and I am extremely excited about our enthusiasm, innovation and initiative.  My name is Andrew Niekamp and I am taking over as the new Governing Council Chair of the RFS.   I want to start my expressing my sincerest gratitude to the entire outgoing Governing Council for all of the hard work they have put in over the 2016 term.  During their term, the RFS saw unprecedented exponential growth, robust increase in our educational material, new collaborations with international societies and JVIR, active participation in our Advocacy section, as well as the implementation of a new Governing Council Committee (International Outreach) and service line (ICU).  As the incoming Governing Council, we have very large shoes to fill but I have no doubt that we are up to the challenge.

I wanted to share with you my initiatives for the upcoming year and where I hope to guide the RFS over our upcoming 2017 term.  First of all, I want to continue to further the RFS mission with our two principle goals in mind; recruitment and training.  Our recruitment efforts have been phenomenal with over 2,700 members now nationally.  A large credit of that goes to the medical student section who alone have over 1,800 members.  This is truly a credit to the RFS and is a great indicator of where our specialty is headed.  It is my goal to see our recruitment efforts remain strong so that we may continue this tremendous growth.  Training is also a foundational goal of the RFS and we have created enough educational resources now to run five websites.  We are continuing to advance the opportunities that our members have to be well versed in all aspects of IR.  A key role that the RFS will be playing in the future of IR training is the development of a universal curriculum that SIR is creating.  The goal is to develop a model universal curriculum that is sponsored and endorsed by the SIR that new IR Residency Programs from around the country can use as a guide when they are developing and implementing their own individual curriculums.  The RFS has been asked by the society to be a key player in the development of this curriculum.  This is both and honor and an exciting opportunity to shape the way that new Interventionalists are trained in the future.  This dovetails into my next goal which is to further the clinical model of IR.  In the past, IRs have been largely consultants that care for the patient only when they are in the IR suite.  If we hope to survive as a specialty and, more importantly, if we hope to provide our patients with the absolute best care, we must train and develop completely as full-fledged clinical physicians.  We must have a deep and meaningful understanding of our patients underlying disease processes.  We must know how to manage their medications.  We have to work up the patients when a consult is placed, make crucial and impactful decisions, and follow up our patients to monitor for complications.  Only then will IR be able to provide the encompassing healthcare that our patients deserve.  In combination with this, it is my goal for the RFS to be at the forefront of information when it comes to the accreditation of new IR Residencies (Independent and Integrated) as well as ESIR.

Next, I want to foster the development of our new Governing Council Committee, International Outreach.  As the RFS continues to expand, it is vital that we learn from others from around the globe.  Collaboration with international Interventional Radiology societies, such as CIRSE (Europe) and CIRA (Canada), give us a unique opportunity to see how procedures and patient management may vary and ultimately give us the ability to identify best practices.  Also, these international societies may learn from us in helping to improve healthcare worldwide.  Finally, our ICU service line is an exciting new opportunity to further our clinical training.  This service line will focus on managing the acute patient and how to address dire situations.  A key part of their curriculum will be identifying landmark journal articles so that we may advance our knowledge through evidence-based medicine.

In summary, the RFS has shown tremendous progress over the past year and all credit goes to the members who have contributed and the outgoing Governing Council.  This year, we will work hard to make sure the RFS is a centralized resource for all of our members; providing all the tools and materials for our In-Training members.  We will be key players in the development of the new IR Residency and continue to advance our main goals of recruitment and training.  I look forward to serving as your Governing Council Chair this upcoming term!

Categories: Chair's Blog