I’m back from a 2 week break, visiting family on the East Coast. We filled the days with hiking, kayak trips, and barbecues. The R&R was top notch. In the back of my mind, I’ve been wanting to compile a list of interventional radiology resources in one place, for people interested in or acclimating to the field.
Some of these resources are through the Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR). I’ve been actively involved in the society for the past few years, and sometimes, one connection or volunteer opportunity leads to another. So if you haven’t already joined the society, consider it. It’s free for students and heavily discounted for trainees.
There are so many benefits of SIR involvement. The most obvious draw is the annual meeting, several affiliate meetings, and the associated continuing medical eduction (CME) credit. And the networking is unreal. You can meet world-renown interventional radiologists (IRs), and chat with them in the hall, or ask a question after their talk.
Volunteering with the society amplifies the benefits. It supercharges who you meet, and what you learn. As a volunteer, you can help shape our specialty, which is burgeoning and beautiful.
In 2019, I got the chance to speak about my leadership roles in the SIR at the Western Interventional Next Gen Symposium at UCLA. At this high-octane conference, I spoke about my roles as Chair of the Women in IR Section of SIR, and as an Editorial Board Member of the IR Quarterly. You can find the slides to that talk here. I loved sharing why this work matters, and some of the projects we have brought to fruition.
This is an online database to find a mentor you mesh with. Whether your interest is in research, finding work-life balance, or whether you should pursue private practice, you can find a mentor here. You can perform confidential searches, filtering for mentor location, demographics, or area(s) of interest.
For women and underrepresented minorities, this is huge. When I was deciding to become an IR, there was a dearth of female IRs in the area. Finally, interviewing in Boston and Los Angeles, I encountered some women in IR. They do exist, but are scattered about the country, and remain a minority, accounting for less than ten percent of practicing IRs in the U.S.
Another project I’d like to highlight is the pregnancy toolkit. This is a resource put together by the Women in IR Section. It features a wealth of information and anecdotes, to show the range of experience of women in IR who become mothers. Not only is becoming a parent in IR possible, but it’s been happening for decades. Sadly, stereotypes and overblown fears persist, fed by misinformation. This toolkit is a way to combat that problem and attract more women to the field.
I want to make sure everyone knows about The Interventional Initiative (“The II,” for short). It’s a non-profit project to educate the public about the minimally invasive treatments provided by IRs. Check out their site, and even donate to their mission. Watch the docu-series Without a Scalpel on Amazon. This is a unique project in that it targets the lay population to increase the level of knowledge and understanding around IR and what we can offer.
Beyond the studio quality production of the II, I’ve recently recorded a lecture I gave in Santa Monica at WINGS, the Western Interventional Next Gen Symposium. You can watch it on Youtube in case you didn’t get to attend the conference! My case presentation covers a range of procedures and some key teaching points for patients suffering acute trauma.
And finally, if you want to hear more about my personal journey, including some pointers on becoming an image-guided surgeon, you can sign up for my free mini-training here.
The path can be riddled with failures, even if you're doing it right. In this recording, I share some of my gaffes with you.
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