The annual Extreme IR session during the SIR 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting has grown into one of the most popular and best-attended sessions of the meeting.
This year’s symposium, “Extreme IR: Pardon my intervention,” takes place from 1–5:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 17. As always, the symposium will include educational presentations along with engaging back-and-forth discussions between panelists and symposium organizer and moderator Ziv J Haskal, MD, FSIR, Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (JVIR) editor-in-chief. Expect at least 30 top IR experts presenting cases and topics that cover the breadth of the IR world, including a look at the potential role for virtual reality (VR) in training.
This year’s VR presentation is just one example of how Dr. Haskal continues to look for ways to take “Extreme IR” to greater heights. Last year for the first time, the Extreme IR session included trainees and even a medical student presenting their extreme cases along with their mentors. That returns for 2018, as does a commitment to bringing in diverse presenters and presentations from around the world.
This year, Dr. Haskal is planning a surprise for attendees in the spirit of a classic episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, but annual meeting attendees will have to go to the symposium to find out the details.
No matter the surprises or changes, the core of the symposium stays the same. People come to the fast-paced session — each presentation lasts about six minutes — to learn from a group of renowned presenters about the extraordinary situations they’ve faced. They will in turn find themselves reflected in or inspired by those stories and also recognize their own skills and their membership in the specialty.
“They come for the drama. They come for the excitement. They come to see extraordinary cases originally done by renowned faculty from around the world,” Dr. Haskal said. “But now, as we’re also featuring mentored trainees and students from around the globe, they come to be inspired and also celebrate being a part of this extraordinary specialty that continues to create entire new branches of diagnosis and therapy using our remarkable image-guided expertise.”
The “Extreme IR” symposium grew out of a course Dr. Haskal first presented in 2001. Those early sessions combined interventional radiologists’ innovative aptitude to build their own tools to suit their needs with extreme sports. One session involved a 17-mile mountain hike with a CME lecture at the halfway point.
While the physical nature has changed in recent years, the spirit remains. The current “Extreme IR” now features extreme and dramatic cases presented in a rapid-fire format. Dr. Haskal said that “Extreme IR” is in many ways the opposite of what JVIR strives to accomplish, which is presenting hard data and rigorous science in ways that stand next to the world’s best medical journals. “Extreme IR” typically drills into the exhilaration and novelty of individual cases, the kind that help draw many into the field.
“We want to be able to both live in that and inspire ourselves and our next generation of trainees while at the same time putting our heads to the grindstone and developing the type of high-level evidence that drives medical care and interventional radiology forward,” he said.