Q & A with RSNA president, Dr. Valerie Jackson

by Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | November 12, 2019
From the November 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HCB News: What goals are on your list as president?
VJ: My focus has been on continuing RSNA’s success as the preeminent source of education, research and innovation in medical imaging. We have expanded the Virtual Meeting to offer more options for attendees during and after the annual meeting. We’ve grown and diversified our education offerings, and we launched three new online journals in 2019, most recently Radiology: Imaging Cancer. As artificial intelligence applications evolve to play an increasingly important role in clinical care, RSNA has become a critical convener for AI and deep learning, so that we can ensure that our members are ready to adapt and utilize these new tools to best advantage.

HCB News: Was there anything surprising you learned about the RSNA as president?
VJ: While I wouldn’t say I was surprised, I am impressed by RSNA’s commitment to innovation. RSNA has been around for over a century, and is a trusted, esteemed organization. While the Society could easily rest on its laurels, that’s not the case. RSNA is driven to seek out new opportunities, to innovate, and to support other innovators. The organization continually adapts and grows to address the changing needs of its membership and radiology as a whole.

HCB News: What is the biggest challenge facing radiologists today?
VJ: Radiologists continue to be challenged by the pressures of large caseloads and quick turnaround times. This makes it difficult to fully commit to patient-centered practice. The caseloads aren’t going to disappear, so we need to widen our perspective to focus on the benefits of communicating with patients and forging stronger alliances with referring physicians.

HCB News: Are there any challenges unique to RSNA members?
VJ: Our members are committed to maintaining excellence in their field, so they demand top-quality education, outstanding annual meeting programming, access to the latest research, and opportunities for knowledge sharing with their colleagues. Fortunately, RSNA delivers on all these fronts.

HCB News: Are enough radiologists being trained today or are we looking at a shortage either now or in the near future?
VJ: It is always nearly impossible to predict the future job market. However, I am optimistic for the future. Medical imaging is a critical component in modern health care. Diagnostic radiology applications are up. It is an exciting and constantly evolving specialty, which makes it an attractive option for young medical students.

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