Geraldine B. McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, Immediate Past-President of the American College of Radiology® (ACR®), contributed this piece.
This March, we celebrate the achievements and contributions that women have made to enhance our society in so many areas: education, literature and technology, healthcare — the list goes on. With particular respect to medical imaging, women have pioneered technological advancements that continue to impact our field today.
Marie Curie most notably brought medical imaging technology to the front lines of France during World War I, equipping vehicles with mobile radiography units. After learning about Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen’s discovery of X-rays, Elizabeth Fleischmann became a proficient radiographer and established the first X-ray laboratory in California. Alice Ettinger introduced spot-film imaging to the United States, marking an advancement in the field of gastrointestinal radiology. She became the first radiologist-in-chief at Boston Dispensary and the New England Medical Center, and, after establishing the first radiology residency program at Tufts School of Medicine, became professor and the first-ever Chair of the Department of Radiology.
Today we are seeing more women both entering and leading the profession. Last week’s Match Day photos highlighted the increasing diversity of our trainees which is critical to our ability to better serve all our patients. The result of mentorship programs, such as the SCARD collaboration with GE “WIN-LEAD,” is that more of our newly appointed radiology chairs are women. High profile appointments of female radiologists to leadership positions outside of radiology, such as Carolyn Meltzer, MD, FACR, becoming Dean at the University of South Carolina’s Keck School of Medicine, are a testament to the growing influence of radiologists as system leaders.
Is our work done? Certainly not. We need to work towards paid family leave for all radiologists, we need to ensure that academic promotions are equally available to all, and we need to be just as active in opening opportunities for radiologists who are underrepresented minorities in medicine. But I’m optimistic about our profession’s future as a welcoming home for all whose passion and intellect is focused on the intersection of technology and humanity.
The path for #RadWomen has been paved by many highly influential figures, and we now represent the future. I hope you’ll join me on this road as we continue to advance radiology together.Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and join the discussion on Engage (login required).