SIR 2019 attendees from around the world will see an increase in content for and from international attendees alongside the continuing worldwide growth of interventional radiology.
Constantinos T. Sofocleous, MD, PhD, FSIR, international liaison to the SIR Annual Meeting Committee, said that the goal has been to increase international participation at the annual meeting by roughly 10 percent a year, and those efforts have been successful.
“A lot of international participation has been integrated into the program, not only from people who are attending the meeting but also those serving actively as faculty at the meeting,” Dr. Sofocleous said.
The 2019 meeting will include full sessions created by different national IR societies, each built around the latest developments from those countries. For example, on the afternoon of Sunday, March 24, “IR Originated from Japan” categorical course will feature 90 minutes of sessions exploring techniques that originated in Japan, presented by the experts who developed those techniques.
On the afternoon of Monday, March 25, afternoon, specialists from Israel will share their perspective during “Start-up Nation: Israeli Innovations in Interventional Radiology.” This categorical course will include presentations about artificial intelligence and robotics, pediatric IO innovations, and advanced vascular imaging. “Controversies from Down Under” on Tuesday afternoon features topical presentations from Australia and New Zealand.
Also on Monday afternoon, participants in the 2019 SIR International Scholars program will participate in directed panel discussions showcasing IR at their home countries and institutions. The session will also include a presentation from the SIR RFS (Resident, Fellow and Student) and ETF (European Trainee Forum) on the IR clinical model.
The inclusion of an international liaison to the Annual Meeting Committee is the direct result of efforts by the International Steering Committee, which oversees and advises SIR’s International Division. The committee, chaired by Brian F. Stainken, MD, FSIR, identifies valuable programs and services to SIR and the international IR community and offers guidance to the SIR Executive Council about international issues and trends.
The International Division continues to promote IR throughout the world. The patient population isn’t as aware of IR as they are other therapies, Dr. Sofocleous said. The goal is to reach the patients and educate them about possible IR therapies that may be available for their disease.
“Also, a lot of physicians (working outside IR) don’t know exactly what we have to offer, so we would like this message to reach them as well so they are more aware and may be able to seek out our services for their patients who might benefit,” he said.
The entire SIR 2019 program will offer the most up-to-date information about image-guided intervention, Dr. Sofocleous said, so international attendees will find a wide range of knowledge from all of the different educational pathways. The annual meeting also offers the chance to connect directly with some of the top minds in IR, including one-on-one or small-group discussions.
“The people you meet here are leaders in the field, Dr. Sofocleous said. “If you’re trying to promote your career, this is one of the best settings to meet these people and begin collaborating in any and all areas of interventional radiology.”