A southern gentleman with an activist agenda

I had the privilege of spending ten minutes on the telephone with William T. Thorwarth, Jr, MD, earlier this week for the purpose of checking in with the ACR’s new CEO and listening to his top-of-mind concerns. In choosing Thorwarth as its leader, the ACR has chosen a thoughtful man with 30 years of clinical practice in a private practice setting.  In this, he shares a great deal with much of the College’s membership and will be a well-informed advocate for radiology’s rank and file. Where he stands apart is in his extraordinary history of volunteerism in organized radiology and medicine—not to mention his expertise in medical economics.

Needless to say, this work required Thorwarth to frequently venture out of Hickory, NC, to attend meetings on ACR, RSNA and AMA business, and he was quick to acknowledge the practice that made this possible by supporting his volunteer activities—Catawba Radiological Associates. All of radiology, in fact, owes Catawba a share of gratitude, as radiology at large, and surely Catawba as well, was the beneficiary of Thorwarth’s extracurricular activity.

Another radiology provider that deserves a shout out is Minneapolis-based Centers for Diagnostic Imaging, whose CEO Robert Baumgartner I interviewed this week for an upcoming report on the imaging-center market. Since founding the CDI Quality Institute in 2003, CDI has supported the volunteer work of the institute’s executive director Elisabeth Quam.  Liz has been a tireless and well-informed advocate of radiology’s interests at the state and national levels, including reimbursement issues and clinical decision support for radiology, activities supported by the leadership of CDI.

As radiologists consider Thorwarth’s call to action, all practices will need to consider the investments they are willing to make in the future of radiology, as specialty building —like practice building—requires a good deal of unreimbursed time.

Cheryl Proval