News & Media

12 December 2017

Planning for the Future of Interventional Radiology

For interventional radiology (IR) to reach its full potential stakeholders will require collaboration towards a common vision.

It was for this reason that the College’s Interventional Radiology Committee (IRC) invited the Interventional Radiology Society of Australasia (IRSA) to a meeting on 3 November 2017 to contribute to a plan for the future of interventional radiology. As leaders in the IR space, both stakeholders have been working hard to address issues impacting the profession, and this meeting allowed both groups to share their vision, outline their achievements to date, identify new initiatives and align priority areas for development.

There is unanimous support within the IRC and IRSA about the importance of specialty recognition for IR in Australia and New Zealand, and this was affirmed during the meeting to be the overarching priority for both groups. This is a considerable ambition, requiring a structured, ordered and disciplined approach to ensure that all milestones along this complex pathway are successfully attained. Within this framework there needs to be recognition of interventional radiologists, general radiologist proceduralists, advanced IR fellowships and general radiology trainees regarding education, training and accreditation.

Although the IRC and IRSA share this common vision, it was also recognised that both groups may have different but complementary roles based on their experiences and strengths. Whilst primary responsibilities may therefore differ, mutual support and effective communication between both parties is essential to achieving common goals for our members and for the progression of IR in Australia and New Zealand.

A list of the roles that were discussed during the meeting, which will be required in order to advance the interests of all interventional radiologists and generalist proceduralists along the specialist recognition route, are listed below:

  • Development of training, accreditation and credentialing programs for radiology trainees and interventional radiology fellows to fulfill the College’s obligations under its agreement with the Australian Medical Council (AMC)
  • Influencing and developing policy and advocating on behalf of the profession
  • Setting standards of practice
  • Delivering and monitoring CPD programs for interventional radiologists and other proceduralists
  • Raising the profile of IR with the wider medical community and general public
  • Facilitating research and the development of clinical evidence
  • Holding scientific meetings to facilitate international knowledge exchange
  • Creation of ongoing education opportunities for interventional radiologists and general radiologists performing procedures
  • Enabling quality improvement through the development of an audit framework for IR
  • Facilitate networking and collegiality amongst the IR community, including with overseas colleges and societies
  • Providing a medical expert consensus role for peripheral intervention issues where required.

There was considerable discussion and consensus during the meeting around which roles should be primarily the responsibility of the IRC or IRSA but there clearly needs to be ongoing thought and discussion around this.

Engaging with the profession and fostering open communication with our members are high priorities for both the College and IRSA, as we look to achieve our goals and develop robust systems across all aspects of IR, particularly training pathways, curricula, accreditation processes and a professional profile.  

The College looks forward to continuing our work with IRSA and plans to meet with ANZSNR to discuss the INR perspective in the near future.

 

Please contact us to discuss IR further with the Faculty of Clinical Radiology team.