What to expect at RSNA 2012

November 19, 2012
by Diana Bradley, Staff Writer
Most radiologists go to Chicago’s Radiological Society of North America’s Annual Meeting for two reasons: vendors’ technical exhibits, and the educational content, according to Dr. Paul Chang, professor and vice-chairman of radiology informatics and medical director of pathology informatics at the University of Chicago School of Medicine.

“It is a one-stop shop and you can get all the educational content you want,” says Chang, who will be presenting the Eugene P. Pendergrass New Horizons Lecture: Meaningful IT Innovation to Support the Radiology Value Proposition. “But there is a problem – the typical consumption model for these large meetings is a lecture format. And when it comes to retention, the didactic of passive consumption is probably not very effective when judging whether or not the information was retained after six months.”

The theme at RSNA 2012 is Patients First, and although the latest discoveries and techniques to deliver the very best patient care will be on display, this is all rendered useless to attendees if it goes in one ear and out the other.

To clear this obstacle, RSNA will be running its successful Diagnosis LIVE! Program for the second consecutive year, banking on the notion that engagement, not passive consumption of educational content, has the most impact.

“I have a crystal clear memory of all the mistakes I made in my medical school residency, because in the old days, the attending physicians would yell at you, punish you, or even hit you on the back of your head if you made an error,” says Chang. “That sounds horrendous, but that’s kind of the old school way of doing it, and it worked because you were engaged.”

Fear not, this year’s conference attendees won’t be suffering through that type of engagement. Diagnosis LIVE! tries to come up with a more positive experience to improve retention of educational content – namely, through competition.

“What we have discovered is competition is a positive emotional interaction that has you actively engaged, but it’s also obviously better than being hit or embarrassed or insulted,” Chang explains.

Developed as part of the Rad- SCOPE electronic education initiative to enhance IT utilization, Diagnosis LIVE! attendees are randomized into two teams and educational content is presented. Audience members are then encouraged to compete with colleagues by answering a diverse collection of questions directly from their mobile devices, tablets or iPhones.

“RSNA is a very forward-thinking organization and is not afraid to play a game at a major meeting,” says Chang. “I am proud the RSNA is willing to take those kinds of risks to test novel approaches to education.”

Further to Diagnosis LIVE!, this year’s meeting will host a technical exhibition featuring products from over 700 companies around the world, including: CT, interventional imaging, MR, information and management systems, women’s health, ultrasound and radiography and angiography systems.

Attendees can use their mobile devices to collect apps and mobileoptimized sites at m.RSNA.org, and can now scan the RSNA Meeting Program’s reference codes to go directly to course abstracts. The online program enables attendees to build a schedule and organize courses depending on their area of expertise.

A new feature this year is Brazil Presents, highlighting that region’s techniques and discoveries.

“The fact that the RSNA meeting offers absolutely first-rate science, is the premier meeting to see vendors’ technical advancements, and is the premier site for most people to get educational content, makes it a triple threat that is actually very unique,” Chang says. “I think that is the reason the RSNA has thrived and is considered the premier meeting in medical imaging.”