Few societies have accomplished so much in so short a time frame. The energy, enthusiasm and talent of SIR's leaders and members are some of its most impressive qualities.
The Society was founded in 1973 and formally organized in 1974 as the Society of Cardiovascular Radiology by an active group in the field who wanted to further develop interventional aspects of radiology. Organizers strove to increase communication in the field and set forth goals that would ensure high quality patient care, and advance training and scientific research in cardiovascular and interventional radiology. Initially, the Society fostered these goals through an informal scientific exchange among members. The first formal business meeting was held in Key Largo, Fla., in 1975, and the Society offered its first annual postgraduate educational course in 1976 with 177 attendees.
The increasing scope of the specialty and the growing importance of therapeutic activities led the Society to change its name in 1983 to the Society of Cardiovascular & Interventional Radiology (SCVIR). The number of angiographers continued to rise, and the Society broadened eligibility requirements for membership. As a result, membership expanded significantly during the 1980s.
The Society developed a detailed historical overview when it celebrated the 20th anniversary of its annual scientific meeting in 1995. This project continues through the ongoing collection of an oral history and the establishment of an Interventional Radiology Museum at SIR headquarters in Fairfax, Va. In 1998, the Society celebrated its 25th anniversary.
In April 2002, the name was changed to Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR), which reflects the ever-expanding role of interventional radiology - a specialty that is no longer limited to the cardiovascular system in terms of how targeted treatments are performed.
Today, SIR continues to maintain steady membership growth with nearly 4,500 members. They primarily consist of physicians, but also include an increasing number of allied health professionals who work in IR settings, such as technologists, nurses, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.