Recognizing a lifetime of service and commitment to the mission and values of the organization, the Society of Abdominal Radiology (SAR) awarded its Gold Medal to Judy Yee, MD, FACR, Chair of the Department of Radiology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.
Former President of SAR, Dr. Yee was a strong advocate for the use of computed tomography colonography (CT) in colorectal cancer screening and led a successful initiative to have CTC recognized as a recommended screening test by the United States Preventative Services Task. Strength (USPSTF). Dr. Yee is also a Board Member of the Society of Chairs in Academic Radiology Departments (SCARD) and a Steering Committee Member of the SCARD GE Healthcare LEAD Executive Leadership Program for Women.
Dr. Yee also chairs the SAR Corporate Support Committee and has led SAR’s multi-vendor course on CTC for nearly two decades. She noted that CTC’s development and dissemination assistance has been key in her career development. Dr. Yee remembers hearing about CTC at one of the first SAR meetings she attended and being inspired to start researching CTC. She said receiving the SAR Gold Medal was especially meaningful to her.
“Through SAR’s workshops and committees, then on the Board of Directors and as Past President, I have met outstanding staff, worked with extremely talented teachers, and made many lifelong friends,” said Dr. Yee. “To be officially recognized by society and by so many of my colleagues who I have immense respect for means a lot to me.”
Dr. Yee says the RAD has made many strides over the years and achieved significant growth in membership, including an influx of residents, fellows and medical students. The society offers early-career resources as well as specific programming at its annual conference to help develop the next generation of abdominal imaging specialists and interventionists, according to Dr. Yee. She also points out that SAR has made notable inroads in diversity at all levels of the organization.
“It is now common to find diversity in plenary speakers, panels, committees and even on the board,” Dr. Yee noted. “The SAR committee on DEI has done a great job of making sure everyone is welcome.”
Dr. Yee has also reached out to many colleagues, who have praised her as a key mentor in their careers. Joel Fletcher, MD, past president of SAR, said he was “beyond thrilled” to hear of the SAR Gold Medal honors for Dr. Yee, whom he credits for “lifting, encouraging , cajoled, taught, championed and given opportunities to” many radiologists in the field.
“I remember seeing all the young radiologists around Dr. Yee at (the) SAR meeting last year and realizing the extent of his mentorship and encouragement,” noted Dr. Fletcher, who is affiliated with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn “I am so grateful for the encouragement and opportunities she has given me. They were truly life changing and provided an opportunity for much joy, contribution and connection. I know I would not have been seriously considered for opportunities without Dr. Yee’s advocacy.
Ghaneh Fananapazir, MD, said Dr. Yee was “absolutely instrumental” in advancing her academic career. He recalled meeting Dr. Yee at a dinner party after she gave a big presentation at the University of California, Davis (UC-Davis), and how generous she was in spending time with him. young faculty members present.
“Over dinner, she made sure she connected each of us to the next step we needed to pursue in our careers. She told me in no uncertain terms that I had to go to (the) SAR (meeting) and that she would connect me with society,” noted Dr. Fananapazir, an associate professor of radiology at UC-Davis. “It was the best advice I had received, and with her help in navigating society, it has given me a whole new appreciation for academic medicine and a network of friends Judy has always been a connector to me, and I will be forever grateful to her for taking the time to talk with me and guide, a person, someone she had just met.
Florence Doo, MD, called Dr. Yee a “fantastic mentor” and role model.
“(Dr Yee) has been a tireless advocate for clinicians inside and outside the reading room, for example, popularizing CT colonography and impacting countless patients, and advocating diversity and leadership,” said Dr. Doo, senior researcher in the Department of Radiology at Stanford University. “His visionary work is felt locally and nationally at Montefiore, the New York State Radiological Society (NYSRS), the SAR, the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), and beyond. Thank you, Dr Yee, for always uplifting others.
Dr Yee said she has had some great mentors in her career. While at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Dr. Yee noted that Hank Goldberg, MD, past president of the Society of Gastrointestinal Radiology (SGR), was generous with his wisdom and sincere support.
“He always encouraged me to pursue high-level research and participate in activities outside of my comfort zone so that I could ‘develop my talents’,” recalls Dr Yee.
She also credited Richard Baron, MD, another former SAR president, as a key mentor and sponsor.
“He recommended me for key committees where I gained experience and was able to network,” noted Dr. Yee. “As a new member of a committee, I remember him always asking me specifically for my opinion to make sure I had a voice.”
For those considering a career in radiology and young radiologists just starting to make their way into the field, Dr. Yee emphasized the value of networking and taking advantage of a variety of opportunities.
“At the start of your career, it’s important to be open to the different opportunities that come your way as you find your passion and develop your niche. Be selective in finding great mentors and sponsors throughout your career who will provide personalized guidance and help you achieve your goals,” Dr. Yee suggested. “It’s also never too early to start developing a broad professional network inside and outside your department and institution. Finally, as you reach your goals, pay it forward! »
Dr. Yee and fellow SAR Gold Medal winners Mark Baker, MD, and Cooky (Christine) Menias, MD will receive their awards on March 2, 2023 at the SAR Annual Meeting, which runs from February 26 to March 3. 2023 in Austin, Tx.