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RSNA History – Part 17

In this section, we continue to discuss the efforts carried out by the leaders and members of the RSNA executive committee to overcome the over-crowded meetings and exhibitions, in addition to improve the contents and layout of the society’s journal, .

RSNA leaders were realizing the problems caused by limited spaces that affected the outcome of the RSNA annual meetings and exhibitions. One of the applied solutions was streamlining the scientific sessions so that they could be viewed from different ball rooms. Meanwhile, radiology was continuing to advance and new areas in the practice were starting to appear. For example, in 1973, the Scientific Exhibits Committee started to divide exhibitions into sections while using color-coding system. Moreover, computers were used for the first time for meeting registration, and distribution of Refresher Course tickets. RSNA also signed an agreement with the American Association of Physicists in Medicine to co-sponsor the events of the scientific program.


Members of the RSNA 1976 Board of
Directors, introduced at RSNA 1975.
Front row, from left:
– J.W. J. Carpender, M.D., President-Elect
– Henry P. Pendergras, M.D., Chairman
– R. Brian Holmes, M.D., President
Back row from left:
– Milton Elkin, M.D.
– William T. Meszaros, M.D.
– Harold O. Wyckoff, Ph.D., Treasurer
– Hillier L. Baker Jr., M.D.
– Theodore A. Tristan, M.D., Secretary

Among the most significant decisions carried out by RSNA leaders was producing a collection of educational materials that were discussed in previous RSNA meetings. The first audio recording of a Refresher Course appeared in 1971. It included a record of a session titled “Roentgen Diagnosis of Congenital Heart Disease in the First Six Months” and was presented by John A. Kirkpatrick Jr, M.D. The recording was prepared by a group of RSNA leaders such as Theodore A. Tristan, M.D., James J. Conway, M.D., Raymond Gramiak, M.D., Norman L. Avnet, M.D., and W. Peter Cockshott, M.D. The production of audio recordings continued and in 1973, RSNA presented audiovisual education programs for sale or short-term rent. By producing these records, RSNA was becoming a year-round resource for education.

Meanwhile, RSNA leaders were still thinking of new solutions for the limited spaces at the society’s meetings and exhibitions. In 1975, was planned to move from the Palmer House to the larger, yet less convenient, Conrad Hilton Hotel in Chicago, thanks to the help of William Edwards, the executive vice-president of the Hilton Corporation. However, in early 1974, RSNA Executive Director, Adele Swenson, and new RSNA President, Robert E. Wise, M.D. understood that even the larger Conrad Hilton Hotel would not be suitable to hold the coming RSNA meeting. In February 1974, RSNA Executive Committee got a report from the American Hospital Association (AHA) who had reviewed the last two RSNA meetings. AHA strongly suggested that the RSNA annual meeting should not be hosted at the Conrad Hilton. Instead, the meeting should be held at the largest convention center of Chicago, McCormick Place on the Lake. After long discussions, RSNA executive committee agreed to move the annual meeting to the new location by 1975. Moreover, Swenson was looking forward to hire a meeting manager, which she did by choosing George Schuyler to be the RSNA’s new Director of Scientific Meetings and Educational Materials. The RSNA1974 annual meeting was the last over-crowded meeting; it had 11,500 attendees in addition to 183 presented papers and 72 Refresher Courses. Moreover, a new type of Refresher Courses appeared in that meeting. It included a series of scientific sessions conducted through the week of the meeting on a single topic. The first course of this kind was presented by Sidney Nelson, M.D., and discussed gastrointestinal radiology. The new Refresher Course was named “Categorical Course”. It was attended by more than 500 members when it took place for the first time, which indicated that RSNA leaders are to organize more Categorical Courses in their next meetings. The RSNA 1975 took place for the first time at Chicago’s McCormick Place. It was attended by 12,192 who did not report any major problems. RSNA were relieved following the success of that meeting, which means that the convention center represented a significant solution for the over-crowded meeting during the previous RSNA meetings.


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