My Fellow Michigan Radiological Society Members,

I am humbled, honored, thrilled and a bit frightened to be chosen as the 2022-2023 President of Michigan Radiological Society. The past few years have been challenging which is an understatement. The Covid years were navigated flawlessly by Dr. Danny Ma, M.D. and Ralph Lieto M.S., F.A.C.R. Dr. Ma set a new standard in organization and Ralph Lieto accomplished the daunting task of organizing the MRS Centennial Gala, and it was flawless. As I look through the list of the previous Presidents of our Society, spanning back to 1921, I am overwhelmed to realize that I am now a member of this elite list of Radiologists. It is truly humbling. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve our members, our board, and the American College of Radiology.

Our profession of Radiology has been the center of my life for the past 36 years. It has challenged and rewarded me professionally and it continues to be a major part of my life. I am also thrilled and privileged to be able to work with such an outstanding Executive Board including our President Elect, Walter Sahijdak, M.D., Vice President, Rocky Saenz, D.O., Secretary, Andrew Woodrow, M.D., and Treasurer, Evita Singh, M.D. I am certain I will be leaning heavily on our immediate past presidents, Ralph Lieto and Danny Ma during my tenure.In addition, I hope to be able to call on Perry Pernicano M.D., FACR, Stephen Kilanowski M.D. and Roger Gonda Jr. M.D., FACR, as well as other past presidents and other board members, for advice and guidance.

In April of this year, your Councilors and Officers traveled to Washington, DC for the ACR Annual Meeting. This was an in-person meeting held at the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue. MRS was well represented at the Fellowship Convocation with nine new Fellows inducted into the American College of Radiology. Please join me in congratulating these new FACR inductees: Matthew S. Davenport, MD (U of M); John A. Freeby, MD (Grand Rapids); David J. Kastan, MD (HFHS); Peter J. Littrup, MD (AHS); Leena Mammen, MD (Grand Rapids); Renee Pinsky, MD (U of M); Walter M. Sahijdak, MD (Trinity); Rennard B. Tucker, MD (WBH); Michael J. Votruba, MD (Grand Rapids).

At the ACR annual meeting I had an opportunity to discuss many issues pertaining to radiology with colleagues from across the country. We are facing increasing and unprecedented challenges in radiology. The continual reimbursement cuts, the corporatization of medicine, other physicians’ specialties carving out parts of imaging and now nonphysician providers practicing beyond their scope of practice, all present great challenges in our profession. In addition, Artificial Intelligence is marching forward, and I am certain many radiologists question the impact of AI on radiology.

One of the most concerning problems facing medicine and radiology is physician burnout.

While this is not a new problem, the Covid-19 pandemic, a shortage of ancillary personnel in radiology and isolation has accelerated this problem significantly. In my opinion, this has now become a major concern for all of Radiology and Medicine as a whole.

Recently, the MRS Executive Committee met, as we are in the process of planning the agenda and programs for the upcoming year. Physician burnout will most certainly be at the top of our list for 2022-2023. The ACR and our federal government is aware of this problem and based on the passing of the bipartisan Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act, the MRS needs to make certain we are included in the implementation of this Act. It is my hope the MRS will establish an ad hoc committee to better understand and advise our members how they can be advantaged by the passing of this Bill.

In addition, I will be authoring an article related to the work force needs in radiology and the current job market in radiology for a future issue of the MRS newsletter. One of the questions I will address is, how do we as Private Practice Radiologists, University Employed Radiologists and Multispecialty Radiology Practices recruit, retain, and maintain our work force?

We as physicians often feel we should be immune to the illness of society, however that is not realistic, nor is it accurate. It is estimated that more than three hundred physicians take their own lives every year, which is twice the national average for the general population.

In general, humankind rises to the occasion during challenging times. Who would have thought it possible to develop a vaccine for Covid-19 in less than one year and have it approved by the FDA for emergency use? It is my hope that physicians, administrators, legislators, and all fields of medicine come together to overcome this scourge in healthcare.

I ask my Radiology Colleagues to continue supporting MRS and ACR with your membership and participation. Donate to the Michigan Radiology Political Action Committee, educate your legislators and hospital administrators how essential radiology is to healthcare, and the well-being of not only patients but society through screening and prevention of diseases.

In addition, provide leadership at your local hospital and demonstrate the amazing abilities radiologists have not just in medicine but also leadership.

MRS with your support and with the ACR has resulted in successes, such as delays or foregoing reimbursement cuts and abandoning proposals allowing advanced practice nurses and certified nurse practitioners to interpret advanced medical imaging studies. This is a continual battle and will need continued perseverance through political venues and through education of legislature and the public.

Michigan Radiological Society is essential to the communication of news and events in radiology and healthcare in Michigan through our online newsletters, website, social media, and through CME meetings. MRS is also important for networking with your colleagues throughout the state of Michigan. It is our hope, through MRS, all of us will have access to their colleagues in Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Flint, Saginaw, Midland, Bay City, Traverse City, Upper Peninsula, Ann Arbor, and the metropolitan Detroit area.

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. MRS will continue to promote diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our society.The diversity needs to be broad and inclusive in all aspects, including geographic diversity.

Please contact me, Shannon Sage, or any board member to share your thoughts or express your desire to participate in our Society.

In closing, I would like to acknowledge all the past presidents of MRS who have supported my increased activity in MRS and to express a special word of thanks to Dr. Gaurang Shah, Dr. Biren Shah and Dr. Joseph Junewick for their encouraging words throughout the years. Thank you for the privilege and great honor to serve and represent all of you as the 2022-2023 President of the Michigan Radiological Society.

Yours Truly,
Mark Weiss, MD, FACR
President, Michigan Radiological Society