The idea for the SIR Resident and Fellow Section first started at the SIR 2009 Annual Scientific Meeting. As one of the Resident-in-training (RIT) scholarship activities of that year, Geogy Vatakencherry, MD, the current Student and Resident Committee chair, gave a talk on the past, present and future of interventional radiology.
This discussion about clinical IR and the importance of longitudinal care of patients interested many of the attendees; several residents approached Dr. Vatakencherry after the meeting to let him know how much they appreciated his talk and to agree on the need for a strong clinical aspect of IR.
Soon Dr. Vatakencherry met Deepak Sudheendra, MD, at the time a radiology resident at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Sudheendra was also a firm believer in the clinical aspect of IR and that interventional radiologists needed to play a more active role in their patients' care. He believed this included all aspects of patient care, including preoperative consultation, admission/discharge and follow-up for life. They both realized that presenting this to trainees interested in IR was of utmost importance.
Dr. Sudheendra suggested that SIR form a Resident and Fellow Section (RFS), similar to the American College of Radiology or American College of Surgeons. Such a section would recruit like-minded individuals to share in ideas and promote clinic-based practice of interventional radiology. Dr. Vatakencherry then introduced one of his residents, Ken Lam, MD, to Dr. Sudheendra. This group worked with Sanjay Misra, MD, FSIR, and Daniel A. Siragusa, MD, FSIR, Graduate Medical Education Councilor, to formalize the creation of the SIR RFS.
Early on, this group set about developing a sign-up and selection process; they then presented the RFS concept to the 2010 RIT Scholarship review committee. The first members of the RFS have worked extremely hard to develop the selection process and improve IR education and are also in the process of formalizing a set of bylaws. The volunteers of the RFS are composed of more than 100 residents from training programs across the country and represent all of the resident and fellow members of SIR. The RFS has also started working closely with the Medical Student Council, making strides to promote clinical IR to early trainees and medical students.
"I look forward to seeing many future SIR leaders come from our resident, fellow and student sections and watch the rapid transformation of the field of minimally invasive therapies as these residents become practicing interventionalists and practice as Charles Dotter had envisioned us to one day practice." - Geogy Vatakencherry, MD