Dr. Mike Barry, CAR President, shares highlights from 2020
2020 has been a challenging year for healthcare, particularly for the radiology community. The pandemic not only changed our practices but also added to the extensive waitlists experienced by patients for medical imaging. With many procedures being scaled back by 30-50% at the height of the pandemic, patients are now waiting even longer than before, creating a dire situation for imaging in Canada. CAR members demonstrated leadership during this difficult time and as a result I believe the CAR emerged as one of the leading specialty societies in the pandemic response.
With the onset of the pandemic the CAR pivoted from its existing priorities, shifting efforts to the radiology community’s response to COVID-19. We successfully published 18 COVID-19 resources, including guidelines for the management of radiology during the pandemic, reports focused on the resumption of medical imaging services and building resiliency in radiology now and beyond. We also acted in an advisory capacity to the federal government to help with the management of medical imaging during this trying time.
$1.5 Billion Investment in Medical Imaging
A $1.5 billion investment in medical imaging equipment is at the forefront of our priorities. We also need additional health human resources (medical radiation technologists, sonographers, and physicists) as well as infrastructure to deal with the increased demand on the health system. Advocacy has never been more important. Without these investments we are facing a national crisis, particularly as the population continues to age. The CAR quickly mobilized its efforts, organizing a Week on Parliament Hill in November to advocate for these priorities, targeting key political leaders. We also had the opportunity to appear before the Standing Committee on Health in June.
CAR Goes Virtual
We pivoted quickly and shifted our education offerings to online learning. RAD Academy now has over 100 e-learning opportunities (eligible for Royal College Maintenance of Certification credits, including Section 3 SAP) available free for members. Through the support of our corporate partners, the CAR offered several online webinars, which are available for viewing on the CAR member portal. We are currently in the process of finalizing the details for our 2021 Virtual Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM). Under the leadership of Dr. Patlas, Annual Scientific Planning Committee Chair, this high calibre event will not disappoint. We urge you to register today.
Recognizing our Volunteers
With the support of a strong membership and a dedicated team of staff and volunteers, I believe we have emerged in 2020 as the leading national subject matter expert for radiologists in Canada.
Special acknowledgement to Drs. Bill Anderson (Alberta) and Heidi Schmidt (Ontario) for their leadership on the Radiology Resumption of Clinical Services and Radiology Resilience Now and Beyond reports and to all the committee members who contributed to the development of these resources.
Kudos to Dr. Michael Patlas for his excellent work as Editor-in-Chief of the CARJ, raising the impact factor globally for the journal and increasing overall submissions.
Shout out to Dr. Gilles Soulez, CAR Vice-President (Quebec) for representing the association in such a professional manner as our francophone spokesperson in the media and through our advocacy efforts.
Our focus on advocacy and building strong partnerships in the medical community is what continues to keep the CAR at the forefront of patient care. We have laid the groundwork and set the wheels in motion. I am confident that in the years to come we can expect great things for medical imaging in Canada.
Wishing you and your families a safe and happy holiday season.
Dr. Mike Barry
President, the Canadian Association of Radiologists