WCIO established IO Central to support the growing community of people practicing image-guide cancer therapy around the world. Our goal is to help establish Interventional Oncology as the 4th pillar of cancer care. To do this will require developing a new group of medical specialists who combine the imaging savvy and technical skills of the interventionalist with the knowledge and empathy of a clinician.
I was fortunate to be born a second-generation interventionalist, raised by a true clinician, and trained in residency and fellowship by prescient IR’s who were early adopters of the clinical practice model, with admitting services and clinics. When I started the clinical IO practice at the University of Pennsylvania over 20 years ago,there was no clinic infrastructure or support for an admitting service. Four years later I was the #1 referring physician to the IR practice; now the majority of our revenue derives from our clinic, which is supported by a dozen mid-level practitioners and administrative staff.
Successful practice of IO requires having a seat at the table at Tumor Boards, being able to talk the talk with other oncologic disciplines, and being able to walk the walk by providing the same quality of patient care that they do. In this column I will be sharing experiences in the clinical care of IO patients, with occasional digressions into IO research, education and training. The WCIO leadership is very interested in feedback from the IO community. We have lots of projects on the drawing board: case of the week, interactive tumor boards, difficult case postings for advice, an IO fundamentals series, industry forums, discussion groups, etc. Tell us what you need to be successful.