Associate Professor of Radiology
Dear members of AAWR,
I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as 2022 AAWR president and to be counted among the successful women who have served in this position. I could fill many pages with their achievements. “For what is done or learned by one class of women becomes by virtue of their common womanhood the property of all women.” - Elizabeth Blackwell, first woman to graduate from medical school in the US.
I would like to recount some of the great accomplishments of our most recent president, Kristen Porter, and the many who worked with her to make a difficult year so successful. Our thoughts and ideas became reality through their dogged work and dedication. Kristen spearheaded the 40th anniversary celebration, which was an enormous success. She forged new industry contacts and coordinated a spectacular RSNA program, to name just a few. As a previous civil engineer, I know the necessity of a sturdy foundation and that is how I see our executive director, Stephanie Hige. Many of our successes are built with her support.
Recently we joined together - some in person and some of us virtually, at the RSNA. The AAWR educational session provided insight into some creative ways to practice radiology. We heard from a diverse group of speakers about unique work environments. I am sure it gave many of the participants ideas for lifestyle improvement.
The fuel to run the organization is from our collective members. They are the lifeblood. That is why I am particularly excited to report that the membership has continued to increase each of the last five years. It is one of my goals for this year to investigate what drives members-in-training to convert to transitional members and then maximize that effect. It is crucial that we have an organization that draws people together. We want to be the society they can’t wait to join. To do that affectively we need to use the SWOT analysis to look critically at our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Each of us must inspire other young women to see radiology as an exciting career opportunity.
Some remarkable accomplishments for the past year include several webinars that not only served to enrich our members but drew interest from new sources. There was continued forward movement on the issue of 12 weeks of parental leave. We had several ACR state representatives commit their support at the upcoming ACR meeting. Dr. Elizabeth Arleo and many enthusiastic members have doggedly worked to make that dream a reality.
Before I close I would like to give credit to the dedicated work of the many committee chairs and members, and the very active and productive members-in-training. Their accomplishments are astounding and confirm what is possible through teamwork.
Catherine J. Everett, MD, MBA, FACR
Who would have thought in March 2020 we would still be still be in this pandemic of Covid 19? Just think back to the news at the time….six weeks of social distancing, wearing of masks, staying in…and we would be good! It’s discouraging, but we have learned so much.
We have vaccines. We have adopted the methods that reduce transmission. We are learning to live with the virus, particularly as we now wrestle with the Omicron variant.
What about AAWR? We certainly have missed our in-person meetings and networking, and so hope to resume this year. But thanks to our great leaders, we presented extensive and outstanding online content that was truly “devoured.” We are starting the year off with a speed mentoring on-line event that has already exceeded enrollment to the extent we are looking for additional mentor volunteers.
Way to go, enthusiastic women in radiology!!
2021 was a banner year for the Association!
Thank you for your membership and commitment to supporting women in radiology.
Learn more and watch the 2021 Members Meeting
Please join us for the 2022 Winter Virtual Speed Mentoring.
Hear experiences and advice from radiologists and a radiation oncologist at all levels of practice, including a resident, a fellow, early and advanced career Attendings, and a seasoned Program Director!
Mentors from UCSF, Mayo Clinic, Massachusetts General Hospital, Yale University, Children's Hospital Colorado, Rush University, Mount Sinai West, UMKC, and private practice!
Shadi A. Esfahani, MD, MPH
The President's Award is presented to a member who has made outstanding contributions to AAWR during the president's term. The 2021 recipient of this prestigious award is Dr. Shadi Esfahani.
Nuclear radiologist, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School
Marie Sklodowska Curie Award
Carolyn C. Meltzer, MD, FAAWR, FACR
Emory University School of Medicine
Dr. Meltzer is a scholar, mentor, and influential role model who has furthered the advancement of women and under-represented colleagues in medicine and science throughout her career.
In her roles as Chair of Radiology and Imaging Sciences and Executive Associate Dean for Faculty Academic Advancement, Leadership, and Inclusion at Emory School of Medicine, Dr. Meltzer developed a framework that embraced a holistic view of the academic workforce. Reflective of her commitment to inclusion as a foundation of organizational effectiveness, Dr. Meltzer has spoken broadly on leading culture change, communication strategies, and workforce planning. She served as the inaugural chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of the Radiological Society of North America, Chair of the Leadership Workgroup for the American College of Radiology Commission for Women and Diversity, and member of the steering committee of the AAMC Group on Women in Medicine and Science.
She is the 2021 recipient of the American Medical Association’s Distinguished Service Award for her work on implicit bias. Also in 2021 Dr. Meltzer was honored as a Fellow of AAWR.
On March 1, 2022, Dr. Meltzer will assume the position of Dean of the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California
Alice Ettinger Distinguished Achievement Award
Quynh-Thu Le, MD, FAAWR, FACR, FASTRO
Quynh-Thu Le, MD received her medical school and radiation oncology training at University of California, San Francisco. In 1997, she joined Stanford University, where she holds the Katharine Dexter McCormick & Stanley Memorial Professorship and is Chair of the Radiation Oncology Department.
Her research focuses on translating laboratory findings to the clinic and vice versa in head and neck cancer (HNC), specifically in tumor hypoxia, Galectin-1, and salivary gland stem cells.
Clinically, she has led multicenter phase II and III clinical trials, testing the addition of novel drugs as radiosensitizer or radioprotector with chemoradiotherapy in HNC. She has received grant support from ASCO, ASTRO, as well as R01 and R21 grants from the NIH. She was inducted into the Fellowship of the American College of Radiology (FACR), the American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (FASTRO), and the Institute of Medicine/National Academy of Medicine (IOM/NAM). She was also honored with the Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015.
Administratively, she is the Co-Director of the Radiation Biology Program at the Stanford Cancer Institute and the RTOG Chair of NRG Oncology. She has served as a reviewer for several cancer related journals and NIH study sections. She has also been actively involved in many committees of national and international organizations such as ASTRO, ASCO, AACR, and ARS.
In 2021 she was honored as a Fellow of AAWR.
Lucy Frank Squire Distinguished Resident Award
Kaitlin Zaki-Metias, MD
Kaitlin Zaki-Metias, MD is currently in her third year of training as a Diagnostic Radiology resident at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB, Canada) and her medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine (Grenada, West Indies).
Dr. Zaki-Metias currently holds positions on the Canadian Association of Radiologists (CAR) Referral Guidelines working group, the Computed Tomography Accreditation Program working group, and the Equity Diversity and Inclusion working group where she is an active member of the Encouraging Radiology Application Committee. She has also recently taken on the role of resident lead for the CAR Medical Student Network Radiology Lectures Subcommittee. Additionally, Dr. Zaki-Metias undertook the development of a general radiology curriculum for medical students at the University of Manitoba, and for rotating students and residents in the radiology department at her institution.
Dr. Zaki-Metias is active in research, particularly in quality improvement. Her primary interests include factors influencing gender and racial discrepancies in radiology, and the reporting of breast arterial calcifications to improve the value of mammography. She has published multiple peer-reviewed papers and has presented at regional, national, and international meetings since beginning her residency.
Recently, she was selected as a participant in the 2021 RSNA/AUR/ARRS Introduction to Academic Radiology Program. Dr. Zaki-Metias intends to pursue fellowship training in Women's Imaging upon completion of her residency.
Eleanor Montague Distinguished Resident Award
Idalid "Ivy" Franco, MD, MPH
Dr. Idalid “Ivy” Franco, MD, MPH, is a chief resident at the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program. She received her medical degree from Harvard Medical School and was awarded a competitive Zuckerman Fellowship, through the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, to obtain a Master’s in Public Health in Management and Policy with a concentration in healthcare leadership at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.
Her desire to improve care for marginalized communities is driven by her early experiences as a first-generation Mexican-American immigrant. She has a strong commitment and passion to serve her patients, community, and profession through her clinical and academic work in radiation oncology and health equity leadership and research.
She is passionate about improving health equity through workforce diversity and community engagement. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she served as a member of the Spanish Language Care Group, providing linguistic, cultural, and contextual support for Spanish speaking patients with COVID-19, their families and care teams.
She is co-creator and director of RISE (Radiation oncology Intensive Shadowing Experience), a virtual radiation oncology experience for senior year medical students from groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine. In the first year 14 students completed the program, 43% were initially interested in applying into radiation oncology, with 50% matching into stellar programs.
On a national level she is committed to addressing the intersectionality of race/ethnicity and gender. She is the first Latina to form part of the Executive Committee of the Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology (ARRO), and is Chair and Co-Founder of the ARRO Equity and Inclusion Subcommittee. Initiatives include a mentorship program, multiple publications on workforce diversity, and creating opportunities for committee members to obtain experience and exposure to leadership within radiation oncology.
ASTRO MIT Outstanding Presentation Award
Amishi Bajaj, MD
Dr. Bajaj was raised in Oak Brook, Illinois and attended boarding school at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy before completing her undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago, where she majored in Psychology and graduated with Honors. She then enrolled in The Chicago Medical School and spent a year during medical school completing research in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Loyola University Medical Center, thereby graduating with an MD with Distinction in Research.
She went on to complete her internship training at the Presence St. Francis Hospital Transitional Year program in Evanston, Illinois, and she is now a radiation oncology resident at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine.
Dr. Bajaj is passionate about women’s health, novel imaging techniques, patient safety, quality improvement, mentorship, multidisciplinary collaboration, and all research initiatives that strive to meaningfully improve clinical practice.
RSNA MIT Outstanding Presentation Award
Aylin Tahmasebi, MD
Aylin Tahmasebi, MD, is a physician and researcher from Iran. She has lived in countries spanning four continents in pursuit of her medical education and clinical experiences. She moved to the United States in 2019 as a postdoctoral fellow to continue her research at Thomas Jefferson University. She served in some of the world’s most remote areas with limited healthcare access.
Dr. Tahmasebi has been involved in both clinical and preclinical research and has presented her work at many international conferences. She is a peer reviewer and editorial board member for several journals. She is passionate about gender equality in the healthcare industry.
Her current research focus is on the application of Artificial Intelligence in Radiology, women's imaging, ultrasound Elastography, and Microbubble contrast.
Dr. Magudia completed diagnostic radiology residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital after obtaining her MD and PhD degrees from the Weill Cornell, Rockefeller, and Sloan Kettering Tri-institutional MD/PhD Program. She then completed the UCSF Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging one-year NIH/NIBIB-funded T32 program and a one-year clinical fellowship in abdominal imaging and ultrasound at UCSF. Dr. Magudia recently joined the Department of Radiology at Duke University School of Medicine as an Assistant Professor of Radiology.
Dr. Magudia has had numerous national leadership roles ranging from being the RFS representative to the Committee for Women of the American College of Radiology (ACR) Commission for Women and Diversity, founding and immediate past chair of the Society of Abdominal Radiology (SAR) Residents and Fellows’ Section, co-chair of the RSNA Imaging AI in Practice Demonstration, and co-chair of the Society of Abdominal Radiology Informatics committee. Last but not least, she was recently appointed an ACR councilor-at large, one of six such positions.
Dr. Magudia’s research interests include high-level applications of machine learning in radiology, including CT-based body composition analysis and prostate MRI. She also is dedicated to public service and advocacy for GME trainee parents and the promotion of gender equity.
Kirti Magudia, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Radiology
Katie Hunt, MD, FSBI
Dr. Katie Hunt is an Associate Professor of Radiology in the Division of Breast Imaging and Intervention at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota and a Fellow of the Society of Breast Imaging. She is the Program Director of the Diagnostic Radiology Residency at Mayo Clinic Rochester and a co-course director for the Mayo Clinic Women’s Imaging Review course. Her primary research interest is molecular breast imaging (MBI), and she is currently a co-Principal Investigator for the Density MATTERS multi-center trial comparing supplemental screening MBI to digital breast tomosynthesis. She is a proud single mom of two boys and one girl and maximizes her precious time with her children through family dinners, doing homework with them, and running to sports and other activities. She enjoys exercising 4-5 times a week, checking out new restaurants, listening to audiobooks, and getting outside to experience the beautiful Minnesota seasons.
Why did you pursue radiology and particularly breast imaging?
I pursued radiology, and specifically breast imaging, because it encompassed the things that I loved the most about practicing medicine: making diagnoses, impacting patient care in meaningful ways, thinking critically about complex, challenging patients, and interacting with patients at pivotal moments in their healthcare experience. Breast imaging specifically allows me to work in women’s health, and I am passionate about the importance of screening and improving methods of detecting breast cancer to maximize the lives of the women we all love. I could not be happier to be a breast imager—it’s an absolute gem of a specialty!
What are some of your accomplishments in research and education?
I am most proud to have been a part of the Mayo Clinic Molecular Breast Imaging research team since my fellowship. I was inspired to become involved in MBI research when my vibrant, brilliant, medical school mentor with two young children was diagnosed with a locally advanced breast cancer early in my residency training. She had dense breast tissue, and her cancer was mammographically occult. Unfortunately, she passed away a few years after her diagnosis from complications related to metastatic breast cancer. During my fellowship, I was inspired by the passion of the MBI team to detect cancers in women like my mentor and saw first-hand the clinically important cancers that MBI could find. I am now a co-principal investigator on the Density MATTERS trial, which is the first multi-center trial comparing supplemental screening MBI to digital breast tomosynthesis in women with dense breasts on mammography. It has been an incredible honor to work with this brilliant multidisciplinary team of clinicians and researchers to improve the care of women with dense breasts and investigate applications of MBI.
One of my accomplishments in education is serving as a co-course director of the Mayo Clinic Women’s Imaging Review Course. This course started when Dr. Wendy Van Buren and I were on a bus with our kids to Hollywood Studios in Orlando while attending another meeting together. We are both passionate about women’s imaging and started discussing our shared dream to develop a continuing medical education course that encompassed both breast and pelvic imaging. It took a lot of discussion and planning, but the course is now entering its third year, and Dr. Van Buren is one of my co-course directors. It’s proven to be a success in terms of the education provided and, perhaps more importantly, the connections and camaraderie that are developed between fellow women’s imagers at the conference.
What do you love the most about being a residency program director, and what are some of the challenges you face?
What I love most about being a program director is watching the incredible progression from a first-year radiology resident who knows relatively little about radiology to a graduating fourth year resident that I would be comfortable sending my own family and friends to for care. Additionally, our residents really inspire me to be a better physician by modeling professionalism and by asking great questions to challenge and deepen my medical knowledge. I have a great sense of pride when I see all the amazing things our residents are doing for their patients and the radiology community. I often joke that being a program director is like having 48 additional children, and I’m proud of each and every one of them!
There are certainly challenges to being a program director. One of the current challenges is the ballooning number of applicants to programs, which has likely been accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic and a transition to virtual interviews. There is a large administrative burden to maintain accreditation and document resident progress in the program, so finding time to do those tasks while continuing to improve the program and managing clinical duties can be a challenge.
What do you think are some obstacles women in radiology face today, and what could be some potential solutions?
One of the biggest obstacles that I see in my role as a program director is the relatively stagnant number of women choosing radiology as a specialty—about a quarter of applicants to radiology are women, while over half of medical students are women. While our specialty has made strides in recent years with the promotion of many amazing female leaders in prominent leadership roles, we need to continue to develop our pipeline of outstanding radiology women, and that starts with medical students. Medical students respond to mentorship and often decide on a specialty based on the interpersonal connections they have developed. I would encourage female attendings and residents in radiology to take an active role in mentorship and reach out to medical students in your community or institution. Get involved in medical student education so that you can show them what an incredible career radiology is for women and dispel the myths that turn many away from radiology early in their medical education.
In addition to developing the next generation of female leaders, there is work to do for those of us currently in practice to promote a gender equitable work environment. Making progress on issues like paid parental leave, accessible and appropriate pumping facilities for lactating women, flexible work assignments, and the ability to work part time at different phases in your career would allow women a greater ability to balance the demands they face at home with their desire to contribute to work.
What are some things you know now that you wish you knew when you were first entering radiology?
I wish I had been more forgiving of myself and recognized that everyone makes mistakes. I held my attending physicians on a pedestal during my training and had very high expectations of myself when I came on staff. Recognizing that everyone makes mistakes while working to develop a culture where it’s accepted to talk about missed cases or things that could have gone better helps everyone. Ultimately patient care is improved by sharing difficult cases and misses, and we hopefully avoid everyone making the same mistakes on their own!
What advice would you give to women early in their careers in radiology?
My recommendation for women in the early years of practice is to focus on becoming an outstanding clinical radiologist and developing relationships with the members of your multidisciplinary team. The expertise, rapport, and relationships you build early on will bear dividends as you move through your career.
I also encourage women to not be afraid to say yes to projects early in your career, even if on the surface it may be outside your comfort zone. The connections that you make and the social capital that you build by saying yes and following through on projects truly opens doors. I said yes to nearly every project I was asked to participate in early in my career, and that approach led to many more interesting projects and opportunities that have enriched and advanced my career.
The AAWR Mentorship Corner is a new feature intended to stimulate interest in and discussion of advanced topics in leadership and mentorship. Additional society resources for mentorship include the AAWR Pocket Mentor (free to members) and AAWR Mentorship Files at http://tinyurl.com/aawrmentor. Readers are invited to submit mentorship topics and suggestions for future columns.
Mai-Lan Ho, MD
Associate Professor of Radiology
Academic Radiology: Tips for Success, Part 2
The concept of academic radiology continues to evolve in our highly connected and diverse world, based on rapid changes in medical reimbursement and health care delivery, as well as the transformational impact of COVID-19 and social justice movements. As in life, success in academic medicine depends on a combination of factors including ability, mindset, and a fair amount of luck. Here are some “tips for success” derived from practice experience at multiple centers, as well as successful leaders in other fields including business, government, finance, entertainment, and technology. Part 1 discussed the fundamentals of academic promotion, research, and productivity. Part 2 covers lifelong learning, career trajectory, and work-life integration.
Career achievement depends on a combination of cognitive intelligence (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ). Most physicians have limited exposure to such topics during medical training, so they can benefit from formal coursework or directed self-study. Useful “hard” skills for radiologists include biostatistics, medical informatics, medical genetics, imaging physics, and radiochemistry. Aspiring leaders will greatly benefit by developing “soft” skills such as teaching, public speaking, finance, management, and negotiation.
Success starts in the mind. Adopt a positive mentality based on growth (skills and intelligence can be developed with practice) and abundance (the world is full of opportunities for happiness, growth, and fulfillment). By embracing an infinite mindset, we are able to embrace challenges and constructive criticism, and become inspired by others’ successes.
Expertise includes both depth (sub-specialization) and breadth (interfacing with other fields). It is certainly important to gain credibility in your focus area of excellence. However, don’t be afraid to set aside your ego and “be a beginner” when learning about other related fields. The most exciting discoveries originate from teamwork among experts in various areas who forge new connections.
Change is the only constant. Across multiple industries, the best predictors of long-term success involve responding to setbacks with resilience and grit. The COVID-19 pandemic has instigated transformative changes throughout our society. Radiology, as a technology-driven field, continues to pave the way for disruptive innovations such as artificial intelligence and human-machine interfaces.
Your professional responsibilities will evolve from junior to mid- and late-career. In addition, personal events (or worldwide events, like COVID) can influence your career in unexpected ways. Life is a marathon, not a sprint: career peaks and valleys are not only inevitable but expected. There will be appropriate times to work hard, play hard, or simply press pause.
Academics is a game that we’re all playing, whether we like it or not. Understanding the “rules of the game” helps us to better recognize opportunities and maneuver in difficult situations. Joseph Simone’s Maxims is a quick read that summarizes key guiding principles of academic medical centers. There are several valuable points regarding institutional culture, organizational leadership, recruitment patterns, and changing jobs.
To guide your career trajectory, consider writing a personal mission and vision statement with guiding principles and near/mid/long-term goals. Revisit your plans periodically to assess interim progress and determine what you would like to change. Also, distinguish between a job (contractual position to earn money) and a career (long-term professional journey based on your passions). With each job, you gain new skills, knowledge, and contacts that can be leveraged to fulfill your ultimate goals and ambitions.
Mentorship and leadership roles are natural in the progression of an academic career. Recall that relationships are two-way streets: mentors/mentees and supervisors/supervisees each have professional expectations and responsibilities. The greatest leaders combine personal humility with professional will, building enduring greatness by investing in people and uniting them in a common vision.
During COVID-19, the boundaries between professional and personal time have largely blurred. Work-life integration involves blending these responsibilities and finding ways to compromise rather than compartmentalize. Professionals can now tailor their work style and personal situation to optimize efficiency via multitasking and structured approaches. Over time, we must provide appropriate attention to the various dimensions of our lives including health, hobbies, family, friends, colleagues, and community.
A positive yet realistic outlook is instrumental in these challenging times. You are the average of the people you spend the most time with; therefore, set boundaries and standards for those in your life. Avoid drama, eliminate toxic people, and stay above the fray. Seek advice from peers and mentors who uplift, inspire, and challenge you to be the best version of yourself.
Authenticity is fundamental to a meaningful life. With so much global connectivity and external noise, it can be difficult to hear your own inner voice. Self-reflection and acceptance helps us to align our thoughts, words, and actions—i.e. “say what we mean and mean what we say.” We live in a time of increasing social awareness and ongoing efforts toward diversity, equity, and inclusion. If something bothers you, don’t wait for others to act—speak up and be the change.
Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs describes the various levels of human motivation: physiological, safety, belonging and love, esteem, cognitive, aesthetic, self-actualization, and transcendence. More fundamental needs must be satisfied before attending to the higher-level goals. Therefore, personal wellness and a strong support system are vital for maximizing career performance and achieving one’s full potential.
In 1982 Linda and a group of likeminded female radiologists formed the American Association of Women in Radiology (AAWR) as founding Vice President and later as President. Since that time, women began increasingly holding offices in major radiological societies. The percentage of women practicing radiology continues to increase. Linda was awarded a fellowship…FAAWR…in recognition of her contributions to the Association and her lifelong efforts to advance the presence of women in clinical radiology.
Linda was preceded in death by her mother and father. She is survived by her husband, two sons, three grandsons, a brother, two nieces, and two grandnephews. Her brother, Bruce, also pursued an Ivy League education and medical degree. He recently retired from a successful surgical practice and years of community service. Linda’s two sons earned PhDs in Economics and Medicinal Chemistry respectively from UCLA. She was very proud of her three grandsons living in California and beginning to leave home for college.
Her husband, Jim, retired from a long career in commercial medical imaging in 2013. Linda and Jim both delighted in visiting their vacation home on Galveston Island and watching the birds, especially the herons and sandhill cranes as well as the beautiful sunsets.
Linda Natalie Meyers Fahr’s exceptional life was celebrated by close family and friends on December 26, 2021.
Check out some of the many accomplishments of our talented members that have been shared on #RadTwitter recently!
We LOVE hearing about the triumphs of our members! If you know of an AAWR member who has done something awesome recently and we missed it, tweet us at @AAWR_org so we can all give them the props they deserve!
The AAWR is pleased to welcome its newest members who joined the Association since September 1, 2021:
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