YPS Leadership Perspectives: Taj Kattapuram, MDYPS Leadership

This is first installment of a series entitled “YPS Leadership Perspectives.” Throughout the series, we will interview the YPS Leadership to get insight into their background and involvement in the ACR.

For this installment, I will be interviewing Taj Kattapuram, MD. Taj is in her first year out of fellowship and currently is a radiologist for Centura Health in Colorado. She completed both residency and vascular interventional radiology fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. Taj has held numerous positions in organized medicine, including, chair of the Massachusetts Medical Society RFS, communications officer for the ACR-RFS and delegate to the AMA from Massachusetts. Taj is currently the RFS liaison to the YPS.

How did you get involved in ACR and through the years and what has kept you involved?

I got involved in organized medicine as a second year resident when one of the 4th year residents at the time said he felt I'd make a great leader and invited me to participate in the Massachusetts medical society. Through that and my involvement in the AMA, I met radiologists at the various meetings and learned about the ACR-RFS. I attended my first meeting later that year thanks to the support of my residency program, and realized how much the college supports all of us radiologists.

How did your involvement in the RFS help you in residency? How does your continued involvement help as first year as an attending?

Networking and leadership development were the most beneficial aspects of my involvement in the RFS. I was able to connect with my peers from all over the country and internationally. I was also able to meet many attendings in various practices to learn about possibilities for future employment. Through various courses at the annual meeting and involvement in the executive council, I learned how to become a better leader.

What role does the YPS play for new graduates?

The YPS at the very least is a bridge to keep early career radiologists connected with the College. Sometimes after so much involvement as a trainee, it's easy to lose interest and involvement as we transition into our careers, our family lives, maybe a new location or unfamiliar practice environment. It's also easy not to have many leadership opportunities in organized medicine as a new attending. The YPS helps remind the newer attendings that involvement in the ACR is vital to the continued success of our specialty.

Why do you encourage residents to become involved in the RFS and stay affiliated with the ACR?

Radiology is wonderful specialty. It is intellectually stimulating and touches all types of patient care. Unfortunately, radiology is a common and easy target in healthcare. By participating in the ACR as early as residency (or medical student), we can learn exactly what the College does for us and how the College achieves success for all radiologists regarding legislation, business, education, etc.

By staying involved, whether solely as a paying member or as an elected officer, we are supporting ourselves as individuals and each other around the country to keep the specialty strong, relevant and visible. At ACR2015, Colin Powell reminded us that radiology was vital to his inpatient experience. No matter who saw him in the hospital, imaging played a central role in his care.

By Bryan Rabatic,radiation oncology representative chief resident for radiation oncology at the Medical College of Georgia

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