I am deeply honored to serve as president of the Michigan Radiological Society for the 2020-2021 term. I am forever grateful to the MRS Board of Trustees and our members for this opportunity and privilege to represent the Michigan Chapter of the American College of Radiology. The Michigan Radiological Society has a long and rich legacy since its founding in 1921 and it is quite humbling to be part of a long line of great Presidents beginning with the legendary Dr. Preston Hickey, presiding as our first President, to our most recent President Dr. Perry Pernicano.
I would like to acknowledge the outstanding work over the past year by our outgoing President Dr. Perry Pernicano. I hope to build upon the successes from the past year. Of course, no one does it alone. I am very fortunate to have an exemplary executive team to help me for the upcoming year. They are: President-Elect Ralph Lieto, Vice President Dr. Mark Weiss, Secretary Dr. Walter Sahijdak, and Treasurer Dr. Rocky Saenz. Our executive director, Shannon Sage, remains the backbone of our society and our board members and committee members provide crucial support.
Since its inception, the MRS has continued to promote and advance the science of radiology and maintain the highest standards of radiological practice for the benefit of the people of the State of Michigan. To fulfill our mission, we need your support to continue our legislative and advocacy efforts and education. I would like all radiologists, radiation oncologists and medical physicists in the state of Michigan to rally together to form a single unified voice for our profession. Radiation oncologists and medical physicists are vital to the Michigan Radiological Society. Most recently, radiation oncologists Dr. Paul Chuba is the 2013 past president of the society and Dr. Walter Sahijdak will be President of the society in 2022. Dr. Gary Gustafson was awarded the 2020 MRS Gold medal for his distinguished career and extraordinary service and served as past president of MRS in 2008. Ralph Lieto will become the first medical physicist to serve as MRS President in 2021. Continued support from radiation oncologists and medical physicists is essential for the success of our society and I will look to further promote their involvement.
We are facing increasing and unprecedented challenges in radiology. In addition to the usual hurdles of continual reimbursement cuts, the corporatization of medicine, nonphysician providers practicing beyond their scope of practice, artificial intelligence, and burnout, we are now dealing with one of the largest challenges of the century with the Covid-19 pandemic. This is wreaking havoc not just in radiology but throughout the entire healthcare system and world.
From this crisis comes an opportunity to help and make a difference. I would encourage all to come together and help in any capacity to help our profession protect our patients. Please continue supporting the MRS and ACR with your membership and participation. Donate to the Michigan Radiology Political Action Committee, educate your legislators and hospital administrators about how essential radiology is to healthcare, and provide leadership at your local hospital and demonstrate the amazing abilities radiologists are capable of. With your support, our past political advocacy, in concert with the ACR has resulted in successes, such as delays or forgoing reimbursement cuts and abandoning proposals allowing advanced practice nurses and certified nurse practitioners to interpret advanced medical imaging studies.
More than ever in these difficult times, the Michigan Radiological Society is essential to the communication of news and events in Michigan though our newsletters, newly redesigned website, social media, and through CME meetings. To network radiologists throughout our large state, we have held past meetings in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Traverse City, and Ann Arbor in addition to the metropolitan Detroit area. Our team at the MRS is already working hard on curating potential topics and speakers for the upcoming year for the Hickey meeting and Annual meeting.
We will try to hold as many in-person meetings as possible but be prepared for virtual meetings in the event we are not allowed to hold large gatherings yet. Our plans to commemorate 100 years of the Michigan Radiological Society with a 2021 Centennial celebration and the establishment of a Michigan Radiological Society Foundation are still in full swing.
MRS remains strongly committed to supporting and mentoring medical students, residents, and fellows as they are the lifeblood of the society and many will become future leaders in Michigan. The MRS Resident and Fellow Section (RFS) officers are active participants in the society including our board meetings, ACR annual meeting and legislative visits. Our Annual RFS conference brings residents together from all over state for education, exchange of ideas, and networking. I will focus on reaching out earlier to preclinical medical students to provide early exposure to radiology to ensure our profession continues to shine bright.
In closing, thank you for the privilege and great honor to serve and represent all of you as the 99th President of the Michigan Radiological Society. Please contact myself, Shannon, or any board member to share your thoughts or if you would like to participate.
I look forward to another great year with your help. It might be a bit more challenging with the Covid-19 pandemic, but we will get through this together…over 1,400 members strong.
Danny Ma M.D.
Michigan Radiological Society