IRQ Articles

Executive director's column

05-01-2017 21:06

Strong and steady: Celebrating growth with you

By Susan E. Sedory, MA, CAE  Spring 2017

The energy and optimism for our specialty is most palpable at the SIR Annual Scientific Meeting, and this year’s meeting in Washington was another banner event with record abstract acceptance, continued rising attendance by trainees (particularly medical students) and a dedicated symposium on MACRA headlined by former Senator Tom Daschle.

While the dynamism for IR is present at every annual meeting, the achievements we celebrate vary from year to year.

This year, I shared numerous measures of demonstrable progress and growth with our members during the society’s Annual Members’ Business Meeting:

  • SIR now has more than 7,000 members—with tremendous growth in the medical student population—the most telling indicator of an active and vibrant society.
  • The Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology (JVIR) continues to grow, in the number of manuscripts submitted, its impact factor and other key metrics of a scholarly journal’s success.
  • There are more than 4,500 posts on the SIR Connect Open Forum, and nearly 6,000 of you have logged in.
  • SIR’s social media presence is growing, which lets us reach audiences around the world: 37 percent growth on Twitter, 33 percent on LinkedIn and 23 percent on Facebook.

That growth didn’t come from a vacuum, however—it resulted from a clear set of goals that has guided our efforts for the past five years.

A formula for success

Our 2013–2017 Strategic Plan set six bold goals to position the society, foundation and SIR members for success in uncertain times. The plan called on leadership to develop a strong infrastructure to support the collection of outcomes data; to communicate a fresh new story of interventional radiology to decision-makers, referring physicians and other key stakeholders; to ensure that all IRs receive the training and ongoing postgraduate education they need to remain a key part of the health care team and provide high-quality patient care; and to ensure that SIR and SIR Foundation grow and remain in a strong financial position.

Looking back, it’s clear the strategic plan not only set the right course but that both the foundation and society achieved what we set out to accomplish.

The IR Registry launched at the beginning of the year, just as MACRA implementation began. Before the meeting, 23 organizations were in the progress of enrolling and, based on the inquiries we’ve received from members, I suspect that number is already higher.

We’ve mobilized staff and physician leaders to advocate for the best solutions for IRs under MACRA, taking our educational messages on the road to national, specialty and local meetings.

SIR has helped ensure that every current IR fellowship program—and all of the interested DR residency programs—applied for and received ACGME accreditation. On Match Day, 62 programs have ACGME approval for their integrated IR residency program; as well, 54 DR programs are approved for their Early Specialization in IR (ESIR) program and nine have received independent IR accreditation. These exciting developments recently culminated on March 17, Match Day, in which 119 new residents matched into integrated IR residency programs. This is the second year that interventional radiology participated in the Main Residency Match.

We launched a completely new website that looks better, makes it easier to find information and resources, and educates all stakeholders more clearly, whether you are a member using our toolkits, a hospital administrator seeking to understand IR value, or a patient browsing our new patient center for clinical and procedural information.

SIR now has more ways to learn: In 2016, we created 18 new on-demand learning opportunities, ranging from short (1.5 hour) SA-CME activities to more in-depth (3- to 8-hour) “Meeting Byte” activities. Our redesigned education pages make it easier than ever to access information about live meetings, online education modules and maintaining certification.

The investments we’ve made—infrastructure and strategic—continue to put us on solid ground and enable us to take on new initiatives. But none of that would be possible without the collaboration and support of our members, every corporate supporter, your volunteer leadership, and our dedicated staff in Virginia.

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I encourage you to browse our 2016 Annual Report, “Strength through strategy,” on annreport.sirweb.org for more details on how we accomplished the goals set forth in our strategic plan. Once more, the SIR + SIR Foundation annual report tells our story from multiple perspectives, complete with multimedia clips and infographics, ideal for sharing with nonmember colleagues, referring physicians and others.

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