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Dr. Vijay Rao

Q&A with RSNA president Dr. Vijay Rao

by Sean Ruck , Contributing Editor
With RSNA 2018 just around the corner (November 25 - 30), it’s time for our annual interview with the current RSNA president. Dr. Vijay Rao took time to fill us in on her background, her goals as president and some of the pressing matters for members today.

HCB News: What inspired you to get involved in health care?
Dr. Vijay Rao: I grew up admiring my physician father who was devoted to excellence in patient care. He came from a very poor family, studied under street lamps in India, and put himself through medical school. He was determined to provide the highest level of education to his children. I was the youngest of six siblings. Three of us became physicians and the other three became engineers. I am grateful to my parents, who gave me opportunities to pursue my dreams.
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HCB News: How has radiology changed since you started your career?
VR: Where to begin? Imaging technology has advanced by leaps and bounds through the years and transformed the practice of medicine, allowing for noninvasive or minimally-invasive diagnostics and, in many cases, eliminating the need for exploratory surgery. Recently, the transition toward a patient-centered model of care has reshaped the specialty in a positive way. In patient-centered practice, we can position ourselves as visible, integral members of the healthcare team and provide a wider spectrum of care to our patients.

HCB News: How long have you been a member of the RSNA and why did you decide to join?
VR: I became a proud RSNA member in 1981. RSNA is the premier society supporting research and education in radiology, and I am honored to be a part of it. As a young faculty member, it was incredibly rewarding to present my research at the RSNA. This is the meeting I looked forward to each year to learn new developments in the field. I have always been a strong supporter of collaboration and mentoring. Through my RSNA membership I was introduced to radiology leaders and innovators from around the world. These mentors and colleagues have inspired me both personally and professionally. Through all my years serving on RSNA committees and, ultimately, the board of directors, I have forged lasting friendships through shared commitment to the RSNA mission of promoting excellence in patient care.

HCB News: What initiatives are you championing as president?
VR: It is important to me to emphasize the crucial role of radiology in transforming health care delivery in the digital age. RSNA is in a prime position to foster innovative ideas that capitalize on the power of emerging technologies to improve all aspects of health care. These innovations truly embody the theme of RSNA 2018: “Tomorrow’s Radiology Today.” In my President’s Address, “How Emerging Technology Will Empower Tomorrow's Radiologists to Provide Better Patient Care”, I’ll discuss how AI and other advances will allow radiologists not only to improve the quality of care they provide to patients, but also the personal and professional satisfaction they derive from their work. I also care deeply about the global opportunities to improve education and patient care by leveraging new technology.
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