The ebb and flow of medical advances, new technologies, healthcare organizational models, economic conditions, and regulatory priorities have been an endless source of fascination since I began my career over 30 years ago. One of the most rewarding aspects has been connecting with the smart, creative, and daring leaders whose work propels us forward. With a diversity of backgrounds and interests, the common threads to their impact have been their passion for fearlessly engaging, taking chances, and conveying humility — imbued with a spirit of continuous learning and openness to ideas from the full breadth of their communities.
Over the past two years, it has been my privilege to explore the lives of some of our most accomplished and impactful radiology leaders in the ACR’s Radiology Leadership Institute® (RLI) podcast, “Taking the Lead.” Since our first offering with ACR CEO William T. Thorwarth, Jr., MD, FACR, debuted in September 2018, we have released 27 episodes. In our recently completed second season, we heard from 14 extraordinary leaders — and while their collective accomplishments are astounding, most fascinating to me are their journeys. “Taking the Lead” focuses on the journey — the peaks, chasms, and terrain in between.
Inspired by the “Women in Focus” session held at the 2019 European Congress of Radiology, the second season began with a special episode. ACR President Geraldine B. McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, served as guest host and spoke with Hedvig Hricak, MD, PhD, FACR, past president of RSNA, about her groundbreaking career and some of the unique barriers that she overcame as the first woman to chair the department of radiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Next, Sanjay K. Shetty, MD, MBA, FACR, executive vice president for corporate and business development at Steward Health Care, took us through his remarkable ascent from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to the C-suite of Steward Health Care. RSNA Past President Valerie P. Jackson, MD, FACR, shared how her penchant for volunteering led her to presidencies of multiple societies — including the Society of Breast Imaging and the ACR. Elias A. Zerhouni, MD, professor emeritus of radiology and biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins University, regaled us with his unparalleled experience from a small village in Algeria to his appointment as the 15th director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by President George W. Bush and subsequent roles with the Obama administration.
While these brief descriptions do not do justice to the richness of the conversations I’ve had with these pioneers over the past two years, my hope is that they serve as a roadmap for your own leadership journey.
We kicked off 2020 with RAD-AID International CEO Daniel J. Mollura, MD, whose NIH and Wall Street expertise, coupled with his passion for public service, led to RAD-AID bringing radiology to underserved and resource-limited regions around the world.
“Taking the Lead” subsequently took us on a tour of remarkable leadership within academia. Theresa C. McLoud, MD, FACR, vice chair for education and radiology residency program director at Massachusetts General Hospital, discussed becoming the first woman to serve as a radiology department section chief. Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR, founding editor of the JACR®, walked us through his innovative and impactful contributions as founding chair of the ACR Imaging Network. Pek-Lan Khong, MBBS, MD, FRCR, clinical professor and head of the department of diagnostic radiology at the University of Hong Kong, shared her journey from Singapore to radiology chair and the subsequent opening of a 2000-bed hospital in Shenzhen.
The peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring was the focus of our next four episodes. Representing a breadth of practice environments across the five New York boroughs, Robert J. Min, MD, MBA, FACR, chair of radiology at Weill Cornell Medicine and president of the Weill Cornell Physician Organization, Sabiha Raoof, MD, FACR, chief medical officer and chair of radiology for Jamaica and Flushing Hospitals and chief medical officer for Medisys Health Network in New York, Michael P. Recht, MD, Louis Marx professor and chair of the department of radiology at NYU Langone Medical Center, and Judy Yee, MD, FACR, chair of the ACR Colon Cancer Committee and professor and chair of the department of radiology at Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, N.Y., provide us with a multifaceted, in-depth exploration of the leadership, resiliency, creativity, and commitment required to overcome the disease within severely resource-constrained environments.
We wrapped up the podcast’s second season with strategies to empower physicians and staff to flourish — while combating burnout and building esprit de corps. Stephen J. Swensen, MD, MMM, FACR, who served patients at the Mayo Clinic for three decades in a variety of roles including department chair, shared the five behaviors that when practiced by a leader, drastically reduce team burnout rates. Katherine P. Andriole, PhD, associate professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School and recipient of the inaugural RADxx Trailblazer Award, discussed her pioneering work in imaging informatics.
While these brief descriptions do not do justice to the richness of the conversations I’ve had with these pioneers over the past two years, my hope is that they serve as a roadmap for your own leadership journey. The field of radiology boasts a deep bench of trailblazers who inspire those around them to dream, learn, and do — and through this podcast, the RLI brings their stories to life.