Vanderbilt Radiology Society, September 2016
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Thomas A. Powers Lead Ceremony and Alumni Night 2016

Friday, September 9 was a day of celebration. It was kicked off with our third annual Thomas A. Powers Lead Ceremony, where we officially welcomed this year’s incoming residents. Thomas A. Powers, M.D., alumnus and former faculty member who retired in 2014, joined current faculty, trainees, and family and guests of the first year residents for the ceremony. Ed Donnelly, M.D., Ph.D., introduced each resident by sharing interesting and humorous anecdotes, and Department Chairman, Reed Omary, M.D., presented the custom fitted and personalized lead. The lead styles ranged from black to snake skinned to a solar system themed.

VUMC Radiology: Thomas A. Powers Lead CeremonyVUMC Radiology Residents




Following the ceremony, the celebration continued at our inaugural Radiology Alumni Night, hosted by the Vanderbilt Radiology Society and the Vanderbilt Medical Alumni Association. The event was held at Sambuca in the Gulch in their private Sky Loft room. Alumni, faculty, trainees and their guests filled the space while enjoying a lavish buffet, drinks and good company. “Our goal was to welcome alumni to reconnect with the department as well as welcome our newest class of residents to the Vanderbilt Radiology family. We are excited to make this an annual event and hope that even more alumni will be able to join us at future events,” said Stephanie Kurita, M.D., Director of Alumni Relations and Development for the Department of Radiology.

Our next event will be held during the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) annual meeting on Monday, November 28 at 6pm at Bar Siena in Chicago. We hope that many of you are able to join us for another fun night!

VUMC Radiology Alumni NightVUMC Radiology Alumni Night

Social Media and the Academic Radiologist

By: Dan Brown, M.D.

A little over a year ago, I became aware that cable news and sports channels were frequently running social media posts on the crawls at the bottom of the screen. I started exploring the possibility of utilizing social media from a work-related angle and following the lead of Reed Omary, M.D., M.S., Pendergrass Chair of Radiology, I considered the potential benefits of engaging in social media. Even though radiologists are inherent technophiles, the number of platforms and associated features can be very complex for a beginner. 

Consider that:

• Facebook has over 1.13 BILLION daily active users. This number has more than doubled since 2010 when “The Social Network”, a movie about the founding and omnipresence of Facebook, was released.

• Twitter has approximately 300 million users communicating via 140 characters per tweet.

• There are myriad other platforms exceeding the 100 million user mark, including LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, Instagram and Snapchat.

I decided to start on Twitter. Factors in this decision included that the inherent brevity ensured short simple posts to keep things “fresh” and also challenged me to self-edit into the limited space with condensed content.

Here are some lessons learned over a year plus and a few hundred tweets:

1. Determine your “brand” or what you intend to focus on. My choices have been interesting Interventional Oncology (IO) cases, research related to IO, and the national registry I head up on radioembolization of liver tumors. With 17 years of HIPAA compliant teaching file cases, and several like-minded IR’s on Twitter, knowledge sharing is easy, and now I sometimes get consults regarding difficult cases. Years ago, I served as the IO abstract reviewer of current literature for JVIR. Tracking relevant publications outside the imaging literature helps me avoid literature blind spots, and I have built online relationships with some of the journals that publish this material. Finally, in regards to the registry, social media makes it easier to keep up excitement for engaged participants. 

2. Start slowly. Prior to opening an account, I spent a couple months poking around on the site to see what appealed to my sensibilities. I reviewed several online guides focused on “getting started”. One helpful decision was to utilize an online tool which allows me to schedule my posts ahead of time. This allows me to take a final look to find typos or confusing text.

3. Don’t be an egg. Once you go live, set up your page. New users are given an egg (think twitter bird prior to hatching) as an avatar. Select a representative avatar, whether it is a head shot or something more personal. Put a few lines together for a profile. Finally, select or put together a header photo. There are free online services that can allow users to paste together multiple pictures for the header photo as well.

4. Be nice. Staying positive avoids conflict, especially when considering digital posts where intent can potentially be misinterpreted. 

Have any tips you found online? Feel free to tweet at me: @danbrownIO.

Connect with Us on Social Media

VUMC Radiology Twitter   VUMC Radiology Instagram   VUMC Radiology Periscope   VUMC Radiology Facebook

IR Residency Program

By: Peter Bream, M.D., and Courtney Raybon, M.D.

VUMC Interventional Radiology

The first discussions about Interventional Radiology (IR) becoming a new residency started about 7 years ago. As a third generation radiologist, I brought a sense of pride and high expectations to these discussions. While it took time to finalize the plans for the new residency curriculum, I think many in our community are proud of what we have created.

The IR program includes a one-year internship in surgery, three years in diagnostic radiology and two years in IR. This program will produce a clinically savvy, expert diagnostician and proceduralist. Our goal is to cultivate interventional radiologists who can provide state of the art, minimally invasive, image-guided procedures with the clinical chops to consult, manage, and follow their own patients. 

Here at Vanderbilt, we have the privilege of starting one of the first IR residencies in the country. This year, we were one of only eight institutions to participate in the first full IR match, and we filled our complement of three slots, plus found an intern willing to start as the first “true” IR resident in the country. This accomplishment could not have been possible without the foresight and support of Reed Omary, M.D., M.S. and Edwin Donnelly, M.D., Ph.D. 

This July, we welcomed our, and the country’s, first IR resident. I am proud to introduce Courtney Raybon, M.D.  Her journey is inspiring:

“As a surgery intern at UCSF, I spent most of my day caring for patients who had undergone extensive surgeries with a recovery that often included tremendous suffering and frequent setbacks. During this time, I communicated frequently with radiologists, especially neuro- and body-interventional radiologists. I looked forward to visiting the reading room and interventional suites. I soon noticed my interest shifting from surgery to radiology, which lead to the decision to complete an IR rotation. 

My first day of my IR rotation was truly a breath of fresh air. I was able to help treat patients in a minimally invasive way, with beautiful, successful results from the procedures. I had found a field of medicine that, similar to surgery, was technically challenging and exciting; yet the morbidity of the procedures was markedly less than those I had just completed in the operating room. I discovered a passion for radiology, and having the opportunity to combine this with my interest in a procedure-oriented specialty is truly the best of both worlds. 

When I interviewed, I was aware that Vanderbilt was one of the first of only eight programs in the country to be approved for an IR residency program. What I didn’t realize, at the time, was that coming to the Vanderbilt program as a PGY 2 would make me the first IR resident in the country. 

I feel incredibly humbled and privileged to be here. It is such an honor to be at Vanderbilt and a part of this program and community. The path before me is uncharted water, and I can only hope I navigate it with grace and excellence. Thankfully I know I have the support of wonderful faculty, staff and co-residents who want to see both me, as well as the program, succeed. With feelings greater than those of personal excitement or trepidation, I look forward with great anticipation to the future of IR and the IR residency program.”

New CT Scanner Arrives

By: John Carr, M.D.
Siemens Force CT

In September, our department began clinical operation of a brand new, state-of-the-art Siemens Somatom Force CT scanner at Vanderbilt University Hopsital. This new CT platform has expanded capabilities that enhance diagnosis and ultimately the care we deliver to our patients.
Technically, the new CT scanner is dual-source, dual energy, wide detector CT systems. One rotation of the gantry takes 0.25 seconds and each image can have a temporal resolution of 66 msec. The system is in essence a "2-in-1 CT scanner" with an "A" and "B"  X-ray source that allows unparalleled options for completing an exam. What this means for our patients is dramatically lower scan times, reduced radiation exposure and reduced need for intravenous contrast media. The FORCE CT can scan a person from head to toe in less than two seconds. The scanner is also able to “freeze” motion, which allows imaging of small structures at high resolution. Moving structures that would previously be “blurred” and unrecognizable on an older CT scanner are now produced with great clarity. The ability to scan with two energies at the same time allows for precise tissue characterization and the ability to remove bones and metal artifacts that can obscure imaging of critical structures.
We are actively preparing for placing our second FORCE CT in the Emergency Department, which should be operational by early 2017. This new capability will help improve the care of critically ill patients.
Obtaining these two new CT scanners was a team endeavor with the leadership of Jeff Balser, M.D., CEO, Mitch Edgeworth, CEO of VUH, and Reed Omary, M.D., M.S., Chair of Radiology, who recognized the importance of this cutting-edge technology for our patients and the VUMC community.

VUMC Radiology equipment

Resident Life

By: Colin Carroll, M.D.

Some of my favorite memories from residency have been during the hours of 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. It is during these hours that you can really get to know your coworkers. I’ve learned that some of my co-residents (and attendings) were former college athletes, Christian hip-hop enthusiasts, pro-fisherman, beer brewers and history buffs. These different backgrounds and interests made for some fun nights. However, the one thing I want to pass onto the new first years as we welcome them to Vanderbilt, is something that all residents have in common: we learned the most by being wrong.

The path to residency does nothing to prepare us for it. Through college and medical school, we are expected to be “perfect” – we strive to be competitive applicants to help us get to that next step. But perfect residents do not exist. We spent the earliest years of our medical training in the library and classroom, memorizing an endless amount of information; but during residency, we learn the most at the workstation – by interpreting imaging studies, discussing cases with referring physicians, and most importantly, by being humble and accepting that we have a lot to learn.  

Radiology can be unforgiving – the patient’s images and our interpretations (which includes our mistakes) are always available for our review. But the silver lining is that we can learn from this. If there is one piece of unsolicited advice I would give to the incoming class, it is this: always follow up your cases. There is no journal article, book or lecture that can teach you as much as getting follow up on your cases – whether you nailed it… or came up short. Not only does it point out what you do and don’t know, but the little fist pumps of victory (admit it…you do it too) and grimaces of defeat will stick with you.

So again, welcome to the first years…and congratulations to my fellow residents on making it through another trauma season. It’s going to be another fun year.

Welcome First Year Residents! 


Cara Connolly, M.D.
Samuel Pevzner, M.D., Ph.D.
Courtney Raybon, M.D 
LeAnn Shannon, M.D.
Joshua Tavernier, M.D.
Christopher Nolan Taylor, M.D., M.S.
Kevin Taylor, M.D.
Brian Thurber, M.D.
Bill Winter, M.D., Ph.D.

On the Calendar

Alumni Reception at RSNA
November 28, 6pm
Bar Siena
832 W. Randolph Street
Chicago, IL 60607

VUMC Radiology recent promotions

We recently welcomed the following fellows and faculty to our department:

Keith Andrews, M.D.
Anthony Borgmann, M.D.
Elizabeth Craig, M.D.
Sarah Delaney, M.D.
Aditi Desai, M.D.
Brian Flanagan, D.O.
Trent James, M.D.
Allison Johnsen, M.D.
David Johnson, M.D.
Margaret Mays, M.D.
Adam Militana, M.D.
James Sagar, M.D.
Brent Savoie, J.D., M.D.
Laveil Allen, M.D.
Jeneth Aquino, M.S.N.
Uday Barad, M.D.
Joel Benveniste, M.D.
Kevin Diehl, D.O.
Michael Fleming, M.D.
Bryan Hartley, M.D.
Kenneth Lewis, Ph.D.
Colin McKnight, M.D.
Samdeep Mouli, M.D.
Krupa Patel-Lippmann, M.D.
Visit our News Announcements webpage for more department news. 
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For more information about the Vanderbilt Radiology Society,
please contact Stephanie Kurita, M.D., at
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