An interview with Nishita Kothary, MD, FSIR
2021 WIR governing council
- Chair: Nishita Kothary, MD, FSIR
- Vice Chair: Olga R. Brook, MD, FSIR
- Past Chair: Maureen P. Kohi, MD, FSIR
- Secretary: Natosha N. Monfore, DO
- Monica Uceda Arriola, MD
- Dania Daye, MD, PhD
- Anne E. Gill, MD
- Claire Kaufman, MD
- Elsie Koh, MD
- Aneesa S. Majid, MD, MBA, FSIR
- Paula Novelli, MD, FSIR
- Ambreen Sattar, MD
- Miyuki Sone, MD
- Amy C. Taylor, MD
Women in IR (WIR) Section Chair Nishita Kothary, MD, FSIR, spoke with IRQ about upcoming WIR events, her vision for the section and the Owning Success series, a new IRQ series launching this fall which focuses on sharing success stories from women in the specialty.
You are spearheading the new “Owning success” series of IRQ articles, which will be launching later this year. Can you tell us about the idea behind it?
Nishita Kothary, MD, FSIR: This new series will feature a panel of IRs who will discuss how they found their pathway to success. Each article will feature different “How I did it” topics, such as becoming an SIR Gold Medalist or pioneering research. In my over years as an IR, I have come across many powerful women and underrepresented minorities who are not often showcased but have had tremendous success in their fields. However, when we think of luminaries in IR, so often our unconscious bias defaults to men, and women almost seem an afterthought. This series attempts to flip the narrative and change the “optics” by compiling a panel that will be predominantly female and/or under-represented minorities. The series will focus on their success, rather than their struggles.
Tell us about the name. What does “owning success” mean?
NK: After the U.S. women’s national soccer team won the World Cup, Megan Rapinoe described her success and her state of mind as “unapologetic excellence.” That became a mantra for me. Too many women fall victim to the imposter syndrome–that somehow, they are undeserving of that success or that they were just “lucky”. The idea of the series is to own one’s success, to celebrate individual effort and to recognize the tremendous impact that each individual has had on society.
You mentioned including more women than men on the panel, but would nonbinary members be invited to participate?
NK: Absolutely. The series isn’t about perpetuating gender binaries or roles but rather about sharing the spotlight so that future IRs can learn from different kinds of leaders.
What new initiatives or programs does WIR have planned?
NK: We are currently working on several big initiatives:
The Dream Big Book Club. Elsie Koh, MD, is organizing a book club that will feature six books, presented by their authors, that focus on leadership and inspiration. The program is geared toward mid- to senior-level women and will spark conversations about success, empowerment and overcoming imposter syndrome.
Changing optics. There are not that many women in radiology, and it’s very easy to focus on the challenges and barriers we’ve faced. However, WIR is working to change the narrative and show the positives by showcasing how amazing and successful women can be as IRs. We will still discuss struggles—because everyone faces difficulties—but our goal is to have a more optimistic tone.
Natosha Monfore, DO, is starting AFFIRM, a WIR-endorsed mentorship for first- and second-year female med students. AFFIRM will be a daylong program held at different sites across the United States to showcase what IR has to offer, featuring lectures and hands-on sessions. It’s an introduction to IR. What makes it different is that it is all staffed and run by women, for women. This is the first year of the program, and we hope to see it grow and become a successful series.
For more information on upcoming WIR events, or to join the Section, visit bit.ly/WIR-SIR.
Association of Program Directors in Interventional Radiology
The Association of Program Directors in Interventional Radiology (APDIR) has recently formed a new Match Committee that will work to review the annual Match statistics of IR-integrated and independent residency. They are also looking to form a new committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion that will work to provide consistent diversity education guidance and resources. This committee will remain abreast of ACGME core requirements related to diversity, such as health disparities, and will inform residency programs of beneficial resources for both program staff and residents.
The APDIR collaborated with the APDR (Association of Program Directors in Radiology) to issue a joint statement strongly encouraging IR and DR programs to conduct virtual interviews for the upcoming 2021–2022 recruitment cycle.
Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants Section
The Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants (NP/PA) Section is continuing to work with its committees in the areas of continuing education, membership, annual meeting planning and clinical practice. The Continuing Education Committee is reviewing SIR educational offerings and with the goal of providing and developing educational activities. The Annual Meeting Planning Committee is beginning to plan their program for SIR 2022. The Membership Committee is planning outreach efforts to recruit new SIR members and section volunteers. Their Clinical Practice Committee is continuing to develop its onboarding manual that will provide information on various IR treatments.
SIR Connect community: bit.ly/2WEH8dC
Resident, Fellow and Students Section
The Resident, Fellow and Students (RFS) Section, including the Medical Student Council, continue to work on projects related to resident and medical students. Visit their YouTube page to view their most recent webinars and videos. bit.ly/3efxaIR
The RFS continues to collaborate internationally with the IR Juniors Global Summit, hosted by the Pan Arab Interventional Society (PAIRS) and with the Cardiovascular and Interventional Society of Europe's European Trainee Forum (CIRSE ETF) at the CIRSE 2021 Summit. The Student and Resident Committee (SARC) is collaborating with the Early Career Section to advise and assist the RFS on their projects.
SIR Connect community: bit.ly/3pcPPrZ
Early Career Section
The Early Career Section (ECS) aims to provide IRs with the necessary resources and tools needed to support them during the early stages of their career.
Currently the ECS is working on the following projects:
Collaboration with the URM, Women in IR and RFS section to support
Creating educational webinars for early career members
Improving early-career IR representation on SIR committees
SIR Connect community: bit.ly/3nLdyPh
Underrepresented Minorities Section
The Underrepresented Minorities Section is SIR’s latest section, which focuses on the advancement of interventional radiology to underrepresented minority communities at all career levels. Currently the section’s 2021–2022 goals are to increase awareness, recruit members and foster community within the section.
SIR Connect community: bit.ly/33ci6pQ