SNMMI board unanimously votes against ABNM/ABR proposal

The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) board of directors has unanimously voted that it does not support the proposal by the American Board of Nuclear Medicine (ABNM) and American Board of Radiology (ABR) to develop a new single training pathway that incorporates both nuclear medicine (NM) and diagnostic radiology (DR).

The proposal, made in a joint statement by the ABNM and ABR back in April, called for the new training pathway to result in a primary certificate in NM/DR, which would replace current NM and nuclear radiology (NR) certificates. In addition, the proposal said a new independent discipline of NM/DR would be created “under the umbrella of the ABR, with ultimate dissolution of the ABNM and the NR fellowship programs.”

The SNMMI’s official reply, dated Sept. 30, was written by its president, Hossein Jadvar, MD, PhD.

“In summary, the majority of our membership, whether from the United States or from the international community, were against the proposal,” Jadvar wrote. “The main concerns were dissolution of the ABNM (and hence loss of primary specialty status) and the notion of a single training pathway (despite subsequent mention of the possibility of multiple entry pathways that remain otherwise undefined), which prohibited non-imaging specialists from entering nuclear medicine training. Also the fact that diagnostic radiology trainees with 4- month training would still be able to practice the full scope of nuclear medicine was considered objectionable, since in essence this would have established two parallel but very different pathways for nuclear medicine clinical practice.”

The SNMMI’s board of directors did note the challenges currently facing nuclear medicine training, and a new task force was announced that will assess the situation and advise the SNMMI on how to move forward.

Jadvar’s response noted the results of two surveys, one of the SNMMI and another of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Technologist Section (SNMMI-TS).

The SNMMI survey found that approximately 55 percent of respondents were against the proposal, and approximately 29 percent supported it. In the SNMMI-TS survey, approximately 69 percent of respondents were against the proposal, and approximately 31 percent supported it.

The original proposal, and the SNMMI response, can be read in full on the SNMMI’s website.