Dear MRS Members,

It is my honor and privilege to be elected President of the Michigan Radiological Society (MRS) for the 2023-2024 term.

First and foremost, I would like to extend my congratulations to our past president, Mark Weiss, MD, FACR. His outstanding leadership guided the society through the challenges of transitioning out of the pandemic era. Under Dr. Weiss’s direction, we made noteworthy progress on several issues, and I am grateful for his contributions. One notable achievement was the return of Michigan Radiological Society meetings to in-person format, which was a welcome development he oversaw. His work guiding the MRS advocacy on scope of practice issues at the state level must also be commended.

I want to express my appreciation in advance to the members of the 2023-2024 Executive Committee: President-Elect Rocky Saenz, D.O.; Vice President Andrew Woodrow, M.D.; Secretary Evita Singh, M.D.; and Treasurer Shadi Azar, M.D. Additionally, Dr. Weiss and Ralph Lieto, as immediate past presidents, will both be valuable resources during my term. The Board of Trustees, the core body for sustenance and growth of the MRS, will continue to provide their support and guidance as they have always done every year. Together, we will work towards advancing the interests of all our members.

Turning to the MRS and how it provides continuing value to members, our society remains focused on the following: advocacy for members with government and payors, educational initiatives, and the support at the grassroots for the future growth and prosperity of our specialty.

Advocacy is a fundamental benefit for all our members. Through direct interactions by the MRS with policy makers at the state level and by the American College of Radiology at the national level, we champion the interests of radiology. This includes interaction with federal and state government officials whose decisions affect our practices. A strong contingent of MRS members visited our representatives on Capitol Hill during the 2023 annual meeting of the ACR in Washington, D.C. to offer our perspectives and recommendations on a number of legislative matters. Our advocacy includes communication with and education of payors, including Medicare, so they understand our work effort and the cost of that effort in time and staff. Another priority has been the actions taken to monitor and influence the proposed Michigan legislation on scope of practice in health care to ensure our patients are getting appropriate care that only our members can provide with their unmatched, advanced training.

Educational meetings are a cornerstone of the MRS. Our biannual Up North conference is scheduled for October 14th and 15th at Boyne Mountain. This year’s focus will be on emergency radiology imaging and a seminar by the Radiology Leadership Institute. I hope each of you will find time to join us there. Our 86th Annual Preston M. Hickey Memorial Lecture will feature another exceptional speaker in 2024, as we experienced in 2023 with Dr. Eric Rubin, Chair of the ACR Human Resources Commission, who provided valuable insights on radiology workload and staffing. At the 2023 Annual Meeting in Lansing, we were privileged to hear Dr. Alan Matsumodo’s thoughts and recommendations on how to protect the future of radiology. Based on conversations we had with him during the question-and-answer session, I am confident that those of us practicing in Michigan are aware of the challenges we face and are taking them on directly.

Finally, I want to encourage every member to actively promote our specialty. My call to action is that we each try to personally advocate and advance our respective specialties at every chance possible. This can be as simple as engaging in meaningful conversations with our colleagues about how we can support and provide value to them and their patients. Whether it entails assisting in selecting the most appropriate imaging study to order, providing comprehensive interpretations of those studies, or offering recommendations for treatment that enhance patient care, we have incredible opportunities to demonstrate the extent of our capabilities and the positive impact we have on a patient’s wellbeing.

The three MRS committees dedicated to medical students, residents, and young/early career physicians, also offer the means for each of us to contribute at the level of our organization to ensure the growth and vibrancy of radiology for years to come. Each of these groups work in concert with the committee for diversity, equity, and inclusion to make radiology’s future secure. Please consider volunteering and contributing to these efforts; it is another way for each of us to advocate for our specialty.

I eagerly anticipate working with all of you this year during my term as president. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any member of the executive committee if there are any questions or issues where we may be able to help.


Walter M. Sahijdak, MD
President, Michigan Radiological Society