In April 2019 Dr. Emil Lee transitioned from president of the Canadian Association of Radiologists to past president. The change in leadership took place during CAR 2019, welcoming Dr. Michael Barry as the incoming CAR president.
Dr. Lee shares his reflections on being CAR president. We thought we would invite him to share his experience of his presidency with our members.
I am truly thankful for the opportunity my radiologist peers bestowed upon me. I have some great memories and feel privileged to be part of so many experiences including the development of the AI working group and the Value of Radiology reports.
The CAR presidency is a long track, eight years in total, starting as secretary, treasurer through vice-president, president, then finally past president. To be president of the CAR you need to be committed. There is a lot of travel, often to international meetings including the European Society of Radiology, the American College of Radiology, the Radiology Society of North America and the Société Française de Radiologie. Many of these meetings are held in destinations not nearly as vast as Canada, leading to the belief that our country is in fact too large.
It is pretty exhilarating to be a community interventional radiologist and asked to be at the forefront of the national scene. The goal has always been to move the needle, to make the organization, the community and the patient care just that little bit better after one’s tenure at the helm. I hope I’ve been able to do that.
The CAR has put in place better education, created initiatives involving artificial intelligence (AI) and radiology, joined an AI consortium that was awarded the $49M Strategic Innovation Fund grant, strengthened international and national relationships, furthering our federal advocacy through Days on the Hill and meetings MPs, senators, staffers and presentations to committees of the House of Commons, as well as grown the membership and annual scientific meeting. We were also able to cement the idea that radiologists are essential to medical practice in Canada and that Canadians know it through our commissioned reports on the Value of Radiology and Nanos Research public opinion poll.
Ultimately, the best part of this job was meeting people; Canadian radiologists and residents, medical students from across the country. Despite technological sophistication and techniques, it always has been and always will be about the people; relationships, ideas, cooperation and collaboration. These factors are the keystones of moving forward as a community and profession. It was my privilege as BCRS president to meet many BC radiologists across the province, and as CAR president to meet Canadian physicians across the country and represent radiologists on the national stage.
I will continue to be an advocate for radiology, radiologists and patient care. No matter where that path lies, being president of our national specialty association will always be an apex experience of my professional career.
I thank all of you for your friendship, support and collegiality in making that possible.