In the previous part, we discussed how RSNA leaders were looking for another venue to host the over-crowded annual meetings. Eventually, Chicago’s McCormick Place was chosen and RSNA 1975 annual meeting took place at the convention center.
The meeting was attended by a total number of 12,192 individuals; among them were 1,589 non-RSNA members and 4,473 exhibitors. RSNA leaders and committee members were very delighted since the meeting was considered a success. As a result to such success, RSNA decided to increase its scientific meetings to cope with continuous advances in radiology. In 1976, John W. Beeler, M.D., the immediate past president, wrote an article in the society’s journal, Radiology, he was asking “How large can our umbrella grow?” The obvious response from the majority of RSNA members was that the radiology umbrella would grow much larger thanks to the Society’s educational meeting, now held in McCormick Place.
On the other hand, the American Medical Association (AMA) was requiring a document proving that the RSNA Scientific Assembly was providing continuing medical education (CME) as a condition for re-licensure. In the past, a number of medical societies and hospitals had required documentation of CME as a condition for membership maintenance. Throughout the 1960s, the AMA became included in accreditation of medical education to evaluate and assess the efforts of those medical societies and, in addition, to keep government agencies from handling such evaluations. At the end of that decade, the AMA House of Delegates had approved the application of a Physician’s Recognition Award to acknowledge the successful participation in CME.
In early 1970s, RSNA leaders realized that the society was to protect its annual scientific program, and that was to be carried out by joining the accreditation process. In 1974, RSNA got permission by the AMA Council on Medical Education to start awarding credit hours for its CME activities. RSNA leaders begun to plan significant increases in Society membership and meeting attendance, thanks to the McCormick Place, which provided the venue for hosting such meetings. Moreover, accreditation also represented a form of cooperation between RSNA and the AMA. It made RSNA leaders recognize the fact that the Society could not carry on with its role while being isolated from other medical organizations. After some time, an RSNA appointee was representing the Society in the AMA House of Delegates, and the Society involved more actively in the AMA Section Council on Radiology, which had been created in 1925 by 1922 RSNA President Albert Soiland, M.D.
Meanwhile, RSNA started to interact with its Canadian members. This was mainly due to efforts conducted by R. Brian Holmes, M.D., as he was the first RSNA from Canada. That was in 1976. Adele Swenson, RSNA Executive Director, managed to provide several opportunities for information exchange with Alva Pentecost, then-executive director of the Canadian Association of Radiologists.
In 1976, RSNA annual meeting took place for the second successive year at McCormick Place. George Schuyler, RSNA Director of Scientific Meetings, had planned for more lounge areas, in addition to a slide-preview room for paper and course presenters. Another major change also took place, which was changing the time of the RSNA annual meeting. The change came as a result to various complains from many RSNA members who said that the usual time for meeting came right after Thanksgiving, which means that a lot of members had to go away from family and friends during the beginning of the holiday season. Therefore, 1976 RSNA annual meeting took place from November 14 to 19.