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RSNA History – Part 15

In the previous part, we discussed the huge efforts carried out by executive Board-of-Directorsmembers to cover the need for larger spaces for educational sessions and exhibitions. In this section, we continue to discuss the history of RSNA at the beginning of 1970s.

By 1970, there was significant improvement in diagnostic imaging techniques. This resulted in the appearance of new imaging modalities and additional subspecialties. Moreover, the number of articles sent to be published in was increasing. editor, William R. Eyler, M.D., was revising a huge number of papers that were discussing the application of ultrasound as a diagnostic imaging technique. They highlight the main feature of ultrasound which was its high safety profile since it does not involve radiation. In order to make more user-friendly, Dr. Eyler started to publish short summaries, or abstracts, before each major scientific article. Moreover, he started also to assign index terms to each article; he assumed that Radiology would have an index that could be printed in a few years. Additionally, Dr. Eyler arranged the articles of the 12 months of the year into four-volume sections for every year. With the increasing use of computers, President John R. Hodgson, M.D., and the Executive Committee, agreed to computerize the circulation data.

Diagnostic imaging field was continuing to progress. Thus, there was an increasing demand for   continuing medical education. Eventually, some of RSNA leaders realized that they were unable to contribute effectively to the educational objective of the RSNA without spending time away from their clinics and hospitals.

Moreover, Maurice D. Frazer, M.D., the selected RSNA secretary after the pass away of Donald S. Childs, M.D., in 1960, decided to leave his additional responsibilities as treasurer, which he had been managing since 1964. As a result, Brian Holmes, M.D., a Canadian radiologist was chosen as the new treasurer.

With the progress of Radiology as a medical practice, there was an increasing need to extend the RSNA Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting. However, Dr. Hodgson understood that there was a major situation about to happen, the was not able to expand if the event was limited to the Palmer House in Chicago. The members of the RSNA executive committee were convinced that if the events remained in Chicago, they are going to choose between four options, the first one was moving the meeting to Conrad Hilton, as it was a larger place but less convenient. The second option was dividing the scientific assembly so it would take place at the Palmer House and the Conrad Hilton. The third was moving the sessions to a new convention center. The fourth one was reducing the attendees of the scientific assembly and stay at the Palmer House, and this option was the least attractive among the four options.  McCormick Place-on-the-Lake was the only major convention center at Chicago. It was located at the south of downtown Chicago. However, RSNA leaders were thinking of the chances of success of the medical sessions were held there. The attendees used to join meetings at hotels, a lot of RSNA members thought that holding sessions at a convention center would have a negative impact on effectiveness of the RSNA Scientific Assembly.

While Dr. Hodgson and the members of the executive committee were discussing changing the venue of the meetings, the Executive Director, Marguerite Henry, who Adelewas serving the RSNA since 1933, mentioned that she would retire. She said that she was going to continue for two more years while a new successor would be hired and trained.

Adele Swenson was selected by Dr. Hodgson to succeed Ms. Henry. Swenson was the executive director of the River Trails Girl Scout Council of southeastern Minnesota. In the summer of 1970, RSNA Executive Committee members Herbert M. Stauffer, M.D., David S. Carroll, M.D., Robert E. Wise, M.D., Reynold F. Brown, M.D., and John W. Beeler, M.D., in addition to Drs. Frazer, Holmes and Hodgson, interviewed three candidates for the position, including Adele Swenson, where she was selected. She started serving as the new RSNA executive director on January 1, 1971.


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