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The History of the Society of Abdominal Radiology

Past Presidents of the SGR | Past Presidents of the SURPast Presidents of the SAR


The Society of Abdominal Radiology (SAR) was created in 2012 out of the merger of the Society of Gastrointestinal Radiologists and the Society of Uroradiology, two premier organizations during their existences. The Society of Gastrointestinal Radiologists and the Society of Uroradiology first collaborated in 2000, as they produced the First Abdominal Radiology Course, which will continue under the Society of Abdominal Radiology. The success of the Course was one of many reasons why the two organizations felt as if they could be stronger and provide more as one society. The Society of Abdominal Radiology was formed with a vision of being the organization in which the medical profession as a whole looked to for expertise in abdominal radiology. The Inaugural President's Message by Dr. Stuart G. Silverman provides some history of the formation of the Society of Abdominal Radiology. To read Dr. Stuart G. Silverman's message, click here. It is imperative that the history of the two former organizations be understood and recognized, because it is these organizations in which the foundation of the Society of Abdominal Radiology stands. Click here to view the Past Presidents of the SAR.

The Society of Gastrointestinal Radiologists

The Society of Gastrointestinal Radiologists (SGR) was founded in 1971 under the leadership of Drs. Alexander R. Margulis and Richard H. Marshak, who organized a founding committee composed of themselves, H. Joachim Burhenne, William Seaman, and Walter Whitehouse. These individuals were motivated by a strong belief that the many new developments in the field of gastrointestinal radiology had created a need for an organization which could meet annually to review research and disseminate new knowledge to radiologists interested in this aspect of radiology. Since this Society was dedicated to the advancement of gastrointestinal radiology, it was deemed appropriate to establish an annual lecture in memory of Walter B. Cannon, the pioneer physiologist who initiated gastrointestinal radiology as a result of his study of esophageal peristalsis of a goose at Harvard University Medical School in 1898. The first Walter B. Cannon Memorial Lecture was given in 1972. This lecture is presented by a medical professional who has made outstanding contributions to knowledge of the gastrointestinal tract and abdomen. In 1972, the Walter B. Cannon Medal was established to honor individuals who have made exceptionally significant contributions to gastrointestinal radiology. Since 1974, the Society has sponsored an annual postgraduate course in gastrointestinal radiology. The course objectives are to review contemporary technical and diagnostic information on abdominal imaging including fluoroscopy, ultrasound, CT scanning, magnetic resonance imaging and interventional procedures; and to present current research in all areas of abdominal imaging. Click here to view the Past Presidents of the SGR.


The Society of Uroradiology

The Society of Uroradiology (SUR) began in June 1966 with the invitation from Dr. Howard M. Pollack and Dr. Joshua A. Becker for a "mail interchange club" to radiologists who had a specific interest in the urinary tract. Informal sessions were initially held in conjunction with the national meetings of other radiology organizations. Over the years, the organization evolved from the "wee-wee club" to the Uroradiology Club and then to incorporation as the Society of Uroradiology in 1974. Membership has grown from an initial 35 members in 1974 to 176 active members, 99 Fellows, 36 emeritus members and 179 members-in-training at the present time. Under the guidance of its committed membership, a strong and dynamic organization evolved, with the presentation of the Society’s first Postgraduate Refresher Course in 1978 in New York City. Many successful programs followed, fulfilling their objectives with the presentations on the current techniques of imaging and therapy of urinary tract disease. These concepts have evolved as technology developed with more and more emphasis upon contemporary imaging and intervention. Genital imaging, both female and male, is a growing facet of the Society’s educational activities.


The Society is now composed of an international community of those interested in imaging genitourinary tract disease. The Society’s progress was a stimulus for the creation of an independent European Society of Urogenital Radiology (ESUR) with the evolution of periodic conjoint meetings. The Scientific Sessions held prior to the Postgraduate Educational Course continue to be the primary forum for the exchange of knowledge and discussion of cutting edge investigation in the field. Parallel in emphasis with the delivery of clinical practice is research of anatomy and physiology of the genitourinary tract. In this regard, in 1997 the Society took a major step with the establishment of a research award to support investigative initiatives; these efforts have produced the scientific and clinical contributions envisioned by the Society. The Society of Uroradiology has recognized the technological and practice changes in our field, that now mandate a broader understanding of the disease processes currently considered under the rubric of "abdominal” imaging. Beginning in 2000, the annual postgraduate educational course became an endeavor co-sponsored by our society and the Society of Gastrointestinal Radiologists, greatly expanding our educational outreach. This collaborative effort, now known as the Abdominal Radiology Consortium, has been extraordinarily successful and will likely lead to a greater integration of the societies’ activities in the future. Click here to view the Past Presidents of the SUR.


Presented by Ronald J. Zagoria, MD, Past President of the SUR and C. Daniel Johnson, MD, Past President of the SGR during the inaugural meeting of the SAR.


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