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A Message from the SAR President

Summer 2013


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Dear SAR members, colleagues and friends,


I have had the distinct privilege of serving as SAR President since last February’s hugely successful inaugural meeting in Maui. This meeting had the largest attendance of any Abdominal Radiology Course meeting to date. I am sure you share my impressions that the quality of the program set a new high bar for both excellence and breadth of educational offerings. I was also impressed by the large numbers of young Radiologists who attended. This latter fact was clear to all of the members of the SAR board and to our corporate supporters. This attests to the vibrancy of our Society, specifically that we are meeting and anticipating the needs of our members for a superior educational experience as well as opportunities to share ideas, build friendships, academic partnerships. Many of you indicated in post meeting feedback that you appreciate how our meeting facilitates connecting younger and more senior academicians, and fosters a sense of community among abdominal imagers. The excitement about the Society continues; we have added 38 members since the Maui meeting bringing our total membership to 654. Applications continue to be received.


I hope your plans for next year include attendance at the SAR Annual Scientific Meeting and Educational Course being held at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton Florida, March 23-28, 2014. Having completed a site visit at next year’s venue, I can tell you that the site is ideal for our meeting. The conference center is spacious and will provide an excellent locale for the activities during the week. There is a wide variety of room options within the property; the Society has negotiated very favorable rates. There are beautiful golf and tennis facilities, several swimming pools, and a magnificent beach on the other side of the intercostal waterway. I hope you will have a look at the property from the link provided on the website. Plenty of restaurants are available in the hotel and within walking distance from the meeting site.


Deb Baumgarten and her team have put together a spectacular course for next year. The breadth of topics and expertise continues to amaze. Sessions on molecular imaging and the esophagus attest to this wide appeal. In our ongoing effort to help bring value to our referring colleagues, we will have sessions on how to report, how to deal with overcalling, undercalling and what future reports might look like. Erick Remer and Desiree Morgan have organized over 200 workshop choices. In addition, we are continuing the interactive Small Bowel Imaging course. We will also be repeating the hands-on prostate MRI course. We are offering a new Dual Energy CT course where attendees will get basic lectures and have the opportunity to do hands on training on different workstations. Several new SAMs will also be offered. Of course, traditional favorites, such as the film panel and protocol specific sessions, will also be included. We are fortunate to have Dr. James Thrall from MGH to give the Canon lecture and Dr. Paul Chang from University of Chicago to give our New Horizon lecture. Dr. Bruce Hillman will run our In-Camera Session.


We will continue to review, and hopefully fund worthwhile research projects as they relate to abdominal imaging. Over the past year, we have purchased new abstract management software package that should facilitate applications to the scientific session. As our relationship with Springer-Verlag has become finalized, and Abdominal Imaging (AI) has become our official journal, we are able to publish selected abstracts from our scientific session. Our journal liaison, Drew Lambert from U. Virginia, has worked hard with Springer to insure that abstracts published in AI can still be submitted to other journals such as Radiology or AJR.


Under the leadership of Bill Olmsted, a large, highly functioning Communications and Publications Committee has been meeting monthly. This group is responsible for the increasing functionality of our web page, and a burgeoning social media page with an impressive number of "Facebook friends”. This group is developing innovative ways to help Society members maintain contact with each other and navigate an increasingly complex annual meeting thereby maximizing their educational experience.


Several "disease-focused groups” have developed over the last year. These include a small bowel disease group, a molecular imaging group, and esophageal disease group. We are looking to increase the number of these groups, as we believe that an in-depth approach by experts in the field coupled with the ability to reach out to clinicians will accelerate our members’ abilities to perform safe imaging studies, tailored to the clinical need and generate reports that exceed the expectations of referring physicians.


The board believes that the SAR should be the source for the highest quality information and education in abdominal imaging. While we believe that our annual meeting continues to draw nearer to this goal, we want to explore ways in which the Society can address these needs during the entire year. We are beginning to create a wide choice of options that satisfy Radiologists’ needs for maintenance of certification and on-going CME. These, as created, will be available during the year so that members may be able to keep abreast of the field while satisfying demands for re-credentialing. It is anticipated that these exercises will be image rich and interactive, providing a level of self-education that is unique to our Society. We hope to be able to launch these courses following the 2015 meeting.


The continued growth and strengthening of SAR is palpable in our meeting, growth, and dedication of our members. To serve as your President is humbling. Having worked with a particularly agile board of directors, the future of the Society is also bright.







Alec J. Megibow, MD, MPH, FACR
President, Society of Abdominal Radiology, 2013-2014

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