SIR 2009: Becoming more ‰ÛÏinteractive‰Û by enhancing practical experience

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The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) meeting will take place in early March in San Diego, CA, and will be more “interactive and practical”
than previous years, according to Professor Kieran Murphy, Toronto, Canada, who is responsible for the Scientific Programme. He explained, “My job is to work on improving the quality of the science. Overall, I think its becoming more difficult for clinicians to carry out good quality science in the interventional radiology department worldwide because we are under such pressure to increase the volume of patient care, when we have a decrease in our academic time. And this probably reflects a change in the dynamics of American medicine.”

He added that with the onset of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding cuts, it seems that currently only “professional researchers” are able to receive grants. “I think this means that we really have to work more closely with our European counterparts, CIRSE, and with Canadian, Asian and Australian physicians to collaborate if we are really going to do effective research. It’s not a an easy environment right now in the US to perform high-quality interventional research."

Science programme
Taking this into consideration, Murphy believes that SIR 2009 will be more “user-friendly”, and delegates will have more hands-on experience that will hopefully be more relevant to their daily practices. One of the primary goals of the SIR is to increase the attendance of its members, as currently only 20%-30% of members attend. “We want to make it [the meeting] more relevant and more appealing to our members so they think it is worthwhile attending and that they will get something out of it for their practice,” he said.

“The scientific sessions are where you’ll find the latest innovations in interventional radiology. Presenters will reveal the results of cutting-edge clinical trials, unveil original techniques or enhancements and validations of existing ones, highlight new directions in our specialty, and give you a glimpse of how you’ll practice and care for your patients in the future,”
said Murphy. “The results of basic and clinical research from around the world will be presented in oral and poster formats, and renowned US and international physicians and scientists will moderate the sessions and stimulate discussion and debate,” he added.

New technologies
The launch of new technologies will be an important component of the meeting, with an “explosion of interest in spine intervention” being one of the key features. Murphy explained that new companies, such as Dfine, and Discotech who manufacture high viscosity cement, will be exhibiting. “The development of such cement will make vertebroplasty safer,” he said. Another spine company, Vexim will be showcasing their new interventional spine jack for the treatment of compression fractures associated with motor vehicle trauma.

Awards

As usual, there will be an award ceremony that will take place during the meeting. The awards will be presented to those who have made excellent progress and contributions to interventional radiology.

The SIR Foundation Resident/Fellow Research Award is designed to provide residents and fellows with an opportunity to attend and present scientific research at the meeting.

The Dr Constantin Cope Medical Student Research Award is open to second-, third- or fourth-year medical students who have demonstrated an interest in interventional radiology. The SIR Foundation award recognises the student author of an accepted abstract that best honours the spirit of inventiveness and scientific purity.

The Dr Gary J Becker Young Investigator Award promotes excellence in academic research and is open to all SIR members who have completed fellowship training within the past five years. Candidates are required to submit an application including a manuscript that was published in the last year or a manuscript that is currently under consideration for publication.

There will also be a number of social events, such as an informal opening reception, a student medical brunch, an interventional radiology training dinner (sponsored by Cook), and a clinical associate networking event.