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Q&A with Dr. Munir Ghesani, president-elect SNMMI

by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | June 10, 2022
Molecular Imaging
Dr. Munir Ghesani
From the June 2022 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

From June 11-14, the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) will hold its annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, bringing together an array of experts from across the industry. From groundbreaking research to legislative initiatives and evolving best practices, there will be much to discuss. In order to get a glimpse at what the meeting has in store, and what the organization will be focused on looking ahead to the next year, HealthCare Business News spoke with president-elect, Dr. Munir Ghesani.

HCB News: Who or what inspired you to follow a career in healthcare?
Dr. Munir Ghesani: My aunt, who has a Ph.D. in botanic medicine, inspired me to follow a career in healthcare. It is common for a growing child to have very diverse and imaginative ideas about what they want to pursue as their career. Similarly, I had various thoughts about a career path, including electronic engineer and cricket player. (I grew up in the western part of India — cricket is very popular in India, and the professional players in this sport are celebrities.) My aunt would sit me down and talk about healthcare, a noble profession with the opportunity to positively impact the health and well-being of the population. As I thought more about it, I eventually chose this opportunity over the excitement of being a celebrity!

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HCB News: What drew you to nuclear medicine?
MG: My path to nuclear medicine was not straight. After finishing medical school, I did radiology residency training in India. During my radiology training, my only exposure to nuclear medicine was seeing a few renal scans performed on a rectilinear scanner.
My first training in the USA was in internal medicine. I completed three years of internal medicine training, passed internal medicine board examinations, and was considering a cardiology fellowship — in fact, I had already been accepted as a fellow in my third year of training. At that time I was responsible for inviting grand round speakers in cardiology, and one of the speakers I invited was Dr. Gordon DePuey, who was division chief and residency program director of nuclear medicine at St. Luke’s–Roosevelt Hospital Center (now part of Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, where I currently practice nuclear medicine). After his grand round presentation, I took Dr. DePuey out for lunch, and in that hour he convinced me to pursue nuclear medicine. Subsequently, he accepted me as a resident in his training program. I am eternally grateful to him for steering me to nuclear medicine!

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