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Q&A with Dr. Vasken Dilsizian, 2019-2020 president for SNMMI

par Sean Ruck, Contributing Editor | June 18, 2019
From the June 2019 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

Second goal would be to increase outreach and media exposure of nuclear medicine therapeutics and diagnostic studies. This requires a grassroots approach. Our members should reach out to their regional newspapers and report on patients with great radionuclide-based treatment outcomes. We need to post such reports of remarkable patient outcomes on social media, and hope that these will be picked up by major newspapers, TV and cable stations or magazines. SNMMI should reach out to major networks and newspapers offering potential interviews with their leaders on major advances in FDA-approved radiotracer and therapeutics and their impact on health care delivery and patient outcome.

Third goal is to increase international member representation on the councils and committees of the SNMMI, and encourage multinational diversity and inclusivity, thereby increasing overall SNMMI membership and enhancing its position as the global leader.

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I would also like to engage our new graduates from residency programs and diplomates of the ABNM to be involved in the Society. We should be their natural home base and provide them with opportunities for growth, mentorship and leadership development, in order to sustain the creativity and discovery within the field.

HCB News: You mentioned international membership. How large is the international representation at this time?
VD: Nearly 15 percent of our membership is international, and that’s despite most of the countries having their own local societies. Thus, in order to become a member of the SNMMI, our international members have to perceive added value in their professional growth by joining the Society. Approximately 2/3 of the abstract submission to our annual scientific sessions and 3/4 of the manuscript submissions to the Journal of Nuclear Medicine (the primary journal of the Society) are international. There are a number of original “proofs of concept” and “first in man” applications of these new radiopharmaceuticals from Europe, Canada, and Asia that are submitted for publication in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine. Hence, I feel strongly that we should extend a heartfelt invitation to our international colleagues to be members and/or take leadership roles within the various committees, councils and centers of the Society, providing opportunities to have scholarly involvement within the organization, as well as input in clinical procedure and practice guidelines, white papers, position papers, and/or clinical consensus statements. One of the key strengths of the Society is its diversity of members that extend beyond physicians, to nuclear medicine technologists, physicists, radiopharmacists, as well as allied health professionals. That diversity, which is the pillar of our society, should be extended to our international colleagues.

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