Throughout SIR 2018, attendees will see how the IAMIR campaign helps spread the word to a diverse audience about how interventional radiology has become the most exciting specialty in medicine.
IAMIR was created in 2017 to help physicians inspire interest in interventional radiology, particularly among underrepresented minority and women medical students. IAMIR also draws attention to the extraordinary breadth of IR’s clinical and research capabilities while showcasing the way it leads patient-centric care.
IAMIR materials provide basic information about interventional radiology along with testimonials from career interventional radiologists about the rewards of an IR career. These stories are also found on video interviews available on SIR’s YouTube channel and other social media.
Greater diversity in the IR community meets the needs of diverse populations through better access and outcomes for patients. Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee member and subcommittee Chair Paul J. Rochon, MD, FSIR, of University of Colorado School of Medicine, said that efforts such as IAMIR fit into expanding outreach efforts to encourage more people to take the path to becoming an interventional radiologist.
The committee has focused on connecting with underrepresented groups in medicine. In the past, outreach about IR started at the residency level, but the changing training structure has created new opportunities to present information to students in medical school and pre-med students — even down to the high school level — about IR’s commitment to patient-centered care, something that’s important to medical students.
“We need to mentor students. We need to provide outreach for them and guide them along the process and get them exposed to a specialty like IR, which they probably don’t have any idea about at that particular time,” Dr. Rochon said. “They may know about surgery, they may know about primary care, OB-GYN, family medicine, but they need to know about IR and how it encompasses every single specialty in medicine and that they can contribute to it and love it at the same time.”
Outreach efforts need mentors in order to succeed, Dr. Rochon said. All SIR members can help by signing up on SIR Connect through the SIR Mentor Match, a database that connects students with those in the IR field who match the preferences students selected when they registered.. The committee is also developing workshops and webinars to groups underrepresented in medicine to provide exposure to IR.
“It’s basically helping people understand that they’re not going to be alone and they can identify with a mentor along the way and hopefully we can have more people in that position as well,” he said. “These groups need mentorship They need to identify with someone who’s already here.”
Dr. Rochon encouraged all those at SIR 2018 to reach out to fellow meeting attendees wearing an IAMIR pin. That informal connection could lead to a mentoring relationship.
SAM: Racial, ethnic and gender disparities in IR
The Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee will host a 90-minute session featuring a panel of SIR leaders discussing common disparities in the practice of interventional radiology.
The Self-assessment Module (SAM) session “Racial, ethnic and gender disparities in IR” takes place at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Room 408B. Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee leaders Paul J. Rochon, MD, FSIR, and Harjit Singh, MD, FSIR, will coordinate the session, which features leaders from the Women in IR Section along with past and present SIR presidents:
- Premal S. Trivedi, MD, Johns Hopkins Hospital
- Maureen Pearl Kohi, MD, University of California, San Francisco
- M. Victoria Marx, MD, FSIR, LAC & USC Medical Center
- Janice M. Newsome, MD, Emory University School of Medicine
- Charles E. Ray JR, MD, PhD, FSIR, University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences Center
The wide-ranging session will cover several topics, including health and gender disparities in IR training along with disparities in care for patients with end-stage renal disease/hemodialysis and hepatobiliary disease/portal hypertension. Panelists will also discuss trainees’ perceptions of IR. The session concludes with a look at data and perceptions of health and gender disparities in the workplace and opportunities to address those issues.
“Together, we can make a more powerful movement in bringing the racial, ethnic and gender differences within IR to the forefront,” Dr. Rochon said. “We invite everyone to attend, and hopefully we get a lot of feedback, questions and engagement during that session.”