A Recap of SIR 2019

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The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) Annual Scientific Meeting took place March 23–28 in sunny Austin, Texas. Home to live music, great barbeque, and a never-ending supply of electric scooters, Austin offered the perfect backdrop for the meeting and made it easy to transition from science and CME by day to collegiality and networking by night. The meeting began with a plenary session by outgoing SIR president M. Victoria Marx, MD, who celebrated the innovation, diversity, and patient centered focus of IR — themes also reflected in the careers of the 2019 Gold Medalist Recipients — James R. Spiers Jr., MD, Daniel Picus, MD, FACR, and Alan K. Matsumoto, MD, FACR.

Matsumoto delivered the annual Dotter Lecture, discussing why we need both “patience” and “patients” in IR. He also announced the launch of the Grants for Education of Medical Students Program, a venture of the SIR Foundation made possible by a personal endowment from the Matsumoto family in conjunction with industry sponsorship, aimed to improve diversity in IR by financially supporting medical students participating in visiting IR clerkships. More information can be found at https://www.sirfoundation.org/gems.

The scientific and professional programming in the days following offered a wide array of topics ranging from emerging techniques in prostate artery embolization to advice on practice building and billing. Small group sessions on topics such as “pulmonary embolism” or “splenic interventions” allowed attendees to interact with leading experts on the topics, discussing cases and techniques, as well as shared challenges. More than 400 scientific abstracts were also accepted for oral presentation at this year’s meeting, along with numerous scientific posters — many authored by residents and medical students. True to the goal of increasing diversity and promoting inclusion within IR, the annual meeting also offered an outstanding array of programming dedicated to women in IR, as well as the first-ever sessions conducted in Spanish.

Amid the general programming, the SIR RFS offered sessions uniquely tailored to trainees. Program directors participated in several question and answer sessions to discuss the integrated and independent residencies as well as the outcomes from the recent match, giving trainees the opportunity to ask questions about the training pathways and to gain perspective on what programs look for in potential applicants. Other RFS highlights included the annual trivia competition, extreme IR cases, and didactics focused on critical care medicine.

As the meeting came to a close, SIR welcomed new president Laura Findeiss, MD, who shared her vision for IR in the upcoming year. Focused on collaboration, training, and increasing access to IR, Findeiss left attendees feeling proud of the impact IR has in medicine and motivated to continue to advance the specialty.

Mark your calendars for the SIR 2020 Annual Scientific Meeting: March 28–April 2 in Seattle.


Jennifer Buckley, MD, is chief resident at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

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