It’s a great time to be an active member of the Interventional Radiology community. A remarkable level of enthusiasm, innovation and comradery was on full display at the recent Society of Interventional Radiology Annual Scientific Meeting in Los Angeles. This meeting also highlighted the important role trainees play in the initiatives that impact the practice of IR and patient care. The SIR Resident-Fellow-Student (RFS) Section continues to identify meaningful ways to contribute to our specialty and challenge traditional boundaries to progress our profession.

As the new RFS Governing Council Chair, I would like to acknowledge and thank our outgoing Governing Council for the tremendous accomplishments they helped realize over the past year. We saw further expansion of our Women in IR and International Outreach Committees, the development of a Universal Curriculum for IR trainees and impressive SIRPAC fundraising efforts by our Advocacy Committee. Furthermore, the Membership council successfully rolled out a patient-centered video project and our social media team doubled in size. These achievements are the result of a team effort throughout the committees and service lines. I extend a huge thank you to all of our members who have dedicated their time and energy towards the RFS.

Looking ahead, there are several initiatives that will be front and center during the 2018-2019 term. Aligned with the RFS Mission Statement, these initiatives fall under three principles: Recruitment, Training and Practice Development.

Recruitment

The eye-opening results of this year’s IR Residency match underscore the impact recruitment efforts have on shaping the future of our specialty. The Medical Student Council has played a key role in this effort through the growth of IR Interest Groups and Medical Student Symposia across the country. This will remain a priority and we will expand our outreach to undergraduate students.

Diversity and inclusion is firmly embedded in the Society’s roots, and the RFS will continue to strongly support women and underrepresented groups in IR. This includes fostering leadership positions and identifying factors in the workforce that may hinder recruitment.

There is a lot to be proud of in this past year with nearly 3500 RFS members to date and a 23% increase in medical student participation. Going forward, we will focus on maximizing active involvement on our committees and further recognizing those who have made significant contributions to the RFS.

Training

The RFS recognizes the importance of clinical knowledge towards delivering quality patient care, and we will continue to emphasize this aspect of training through our projects. The ICU service line is completing a critical care curriculum which can serve as a model for IR Residency programs throughout the country. The success of the Critical Care session at SIR 2018 signifies a vested interest among trainees, and it is our responsibility to step up to the plate and provide the resources necessary to become the best physicians for our patients. Stroke, DVT/PE, and critical limb ischemia require complex clinical management and will be a priority this year.

We are excited to announce the creation of a new committee on the RFS Governing Council, the Research and Innovation Committee. This committee will help trainees build a strong foundation in research interpretation and design, including grant proposals. It will also introduce members to medical innovation and technology translation. Level 1 evidence drives management. A thorough understanding of the literature will allow trainees to adhere to best practice and identify gaps in the data that require further investigation.

Practice Development

The clinic is a powerful component of longitudinal patient care in both the academic and private practice setting. The RFS aims to foster the growth of resident clinics at the national level. To this end, the Membership Council is rolling out the SIR Connect Trainee Clinic Forum. Students and residents will post a clinical encounter from clinic, attending moderators will provide feedback and an educational discussion about the encounter will ensue. In addition to this venture, the Clinical Education and IR Residency Training Committees are collaborating to provide resources in wound care management. Our specialty is determined to provide comprehensive care to patients with critical limb ischemia, and we must be well-trained in wound care and medical management to have a seat at the table. Avoid amputation!

Healthcare policy and economics are an area of practice development that is not fully understood by many IR trainees. Recognizing this knowledge gap, the RFS has expanded its current Advocacy Committee to become the Advocacy, Health Policy and Economics Committee. This new branch, which will complement the existing Advocacy committee and its fundraising efforts, will develop resources in IR economics specifically for trainees and seek to identify trends in health policy that will impact the practice of IR.

There is a lot of great upside potential in our organization. I have no doubt the RFS is up to the task of achieving an ambitious agenda and will build off of the momentum that has been gained over the past year. I am thrilled for the opportunity to serve as your 2018 Governing Council Chair and look forward to working with you. Thank you again for your contributions to SIR and our specialty.

By David Maldow, MD, PGY-3 IR/DR Resident, University of Rochester Medical Center