RSNA Blog: Patient-centered imaging + missed opportunities


CHICAGO—Inspired by Dr. George Bisset’s Presidential Address and this year’s conference theme (Patients First), I’ve embarked on a quest to find “our patients” at RSNA. In other words, how are the concerns, anxieties, priorities and choices of our patients represented by conference presenters, educators or exhibitors?

Today, I began my search by making tracks to the Lakeside Learning Center. After Dr. Bisset’s speech, I was excited to learn more about the “Radiology Cares” campaign. For some reason (keep in mind, I’m still a wide-eyed and relatively naïve medical student), I was picturing a prominent booth in the RSNA Services Area featuring resources for helping radiologists talk to patients, staffed by colleagues who had decided to prioritize patient-centered imaging approaches in their daily practice. However, after circling the Services Area for several minutes and not seeing such a booth, I approached the Information Desk. The first (very nice) person I spoke with had no idea what “Radiology Cares” was, but called over a second person who informed me that “Radiology Cares” was actually part of the “Image Wisely” campaign. Furthermore, if I wanted to take the Radiology Cares Pledge, I could do so at the Membership desk.  

What a lost opportunity! Instead of putting this new RSNA initiative front and center where curious conference-goers could engage in dialogue with peers or find out about resources, it seems to be squirreled away. I left the RSNA Services Area disappointed. However, I later found my way to the RSNA website, which does feature a number of interesting and informative articles, toolkits, links to websites, and other resources for both radiologists and patients. Yet, despite the usefulness of this website, I still feel as though the folks at the RSNA missed an opportunity to capitalize on Dr. Bisset’s inspirational talk and provide an “on the ground,” informal opportunity for attendees to learn about and discuss what patient-centered imaging actually entails. 

Undaunted, I proceeded to the second level of the Lakeside Learning Center, where I looked for patients among the plethora of scientific posters. Surely, out of the 1,258 posters presented at this year’s RSNA, I could find research speaking to or about issues important to our patients. Right? To be continued…



Dr. Tillack recently completed her PhD in medical anthropology, and is currently in the MD program at the University of California–San Francisco.