A tale of two societies

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A new professional organization - the Society of Cardiac Computed Tomography (SCCT) - was born on Jan. 10 when incorporation papers were filed by a group of 25 cardiologists and physicians practicing in the field of non-invasive cardiology.
   
The need for such a society was discussed amongst the group of medical professionals - from the United States and abroad - at a meeting held Jan. 8 in Atlanta, Ga. Further north in Chicago, a group of 100 medical professionals and organizational leaders attended a meeting for the American Society for Cardiac Computed Tomography (ASCCT).     
   
Participants at the ASCCT meeting emphasized their mission to be that of advancing the role of CT in cardiac and vascular practice. Regarding residency training, sources said the ASCCT also will strive to be an advisory group to the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and the American Board of Radiology as they design curricula for their board programs. In addition, it was reported that representatives of the ACC and the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology at the meeting expressed interest in collaborating with the ASCCT.
   
At SCCT's meeting, the organization developed the following mission statement: "SCCT will be the recognized representative and advocate for physicians, scientists and technologists who work in the field of cardiac computed tomography. It will nationally and internationally be seen as the principal independent organization committed to the further development of cardiac computed tomography through education, training, accreditation, advocacy, quality control and research."
   
SCCT participant Daniel S. Berman, MD, director of Cardiac Imaging at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said, "Cardiac CT scanning promises to revolutionize the approach to accurate diagnosis of patients with coronary artery disease. But, exactly how and when to use it is not yet clear. In order to truly capture the power of this new method, it is critical that we optimize the methods, train physicians to perform and interpret the tests, ensure the high quality of the examinations performed, and develop guidelines for its cost effective use. It also is important to foster research in cardiac CT.  The SCCT has been founded to achieve these goals."
   
Zahi A. Fayad, PhD, director of Cardiovascular Imaging Research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and president of the Society of Atherosclerosis Imaging said, "The time has come for adequate representation of this 21st century clinically important cardiovascular imaging method. We at the Society of Atherosclerosis Imaging are excited to help support this new independent society. With the high resolution and speed of the newest generation of CT scanners, the ability of CT to provide comprehensive noninvasive assessment of the cardiac patient has become apparent.  SCCT fulfills a clear need for a CT focused professional society of cardiologists and radiologists to develop the potential of this important imaging modality."
   
The SCCT will meet during the annual ACC meeting, March 7 - 10, in Orlando to elect officers and board members.
   
Reasons remain obscure as to why two independent groups of medical professionals with similar credentials and experience have formed two separate societies for CT cardiac practitioners. Both promote the clinical use of CT angiography.