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Alan H. Matsumoto, M.D., FSIR, debuts the GEMS Program at SIR 2019

New initiative aims to foster diversity in interventional radiology

AUSTIN, TEXAS (March 24, 2019)—Former Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) President Alan H. Matsumoto, M.D., FSIR, introduced a new program to support diversity in interventional radiology by providing a travel grant for medical students from diverse backgrounds who desire to participate in a visiting clerkship in interventional radiology (IR) outside of their home institution.

The Grants for Education of Medical Students (GEMS) Program was announced today at SIR’s Annual Scientific Meeting in Austin, Texas. Matsumoto, professor and chair of the department of radiology and medical imaging at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, said the GEMS program is intended to attract medical students from diverse backgrounds to interventional radiology by providing scholarships to fund visiting clerkships/rotations in the specialty. Students who are seeking to be the first generation of physicians in their families and identify as being from racial or ethnic groups that are underrepresented in the medical field, female, or LGBTQ are eligible to apply for these scholarships, as are students who come from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds.

“GEMS will allow medical students to gain an in-depth understanding of IR through a more personal experience in a new environment. As a prelude to the residency application and interview process, GEMS will enable selected third and fourth year medical students a chance to develop early mentoring relationships in IR and to broaden their professional networks,” Matsumoto said. “This program will facilitate connections between IR training programs and the next generation of IRs who might not otherwise have the opportunity to attend these clerkships.”

“SIR and SIR Foundation are incredibly grateful to Dr. Matsumoto, his family and our inaugural industry sponsors—Boston Scientific, Penumbra, Siemens Healthineers, Gore and Cook—for supporting this important initiative to engage diverse groups of medical students in interventional radiology,” said SIR President M. Victoria Marx, M.D., FSIR, an interventional radiologist at Keck Medicine of USC, and professor of clinical radiology and diagnostic radiology residency program director at Keck School of Medicine of USC, Los Angeles. “Through this program, they are helping us achieve our vision to increase the diversity of IRs to better represent the patient populations we serve.”

“Diversity brings new ideas and innovation and GEMS will be an integral program in our efforts to ensure that interventional radiology stays at the forefront of medicine by bringing the brightest minds from all backgrounds into the field,” said SIR Foundation Chair Jeremy C. Durack, M.D., M.S., FSIR, an interventional radiologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York. “We are thankful to the Matsumoto family and our industry colleagues for their commitment to helping us increase the diversity and inclusiveness in the specialty, and to further enhancing the exciting future of interventional radiology.”

For more information about GEMS, visit sirfoundation.org/gems

Media contact information

Elise Castelli
SIR Director, Communications and Public Relations
Phone: (703) 460-5572 
Email: ecastelli@sirweb.org

Kate Martin
SIR Manager, Communications and Social Media
Phone: (703) 460-5597
Email: kmartin@sirweb.org

About the Society of Interventional Radiology

The Society of Interventional Radiology is a nonprofit, professional medical society representing more than 8,000 practicing interventional radiology physicians, trainees, students, scientists and clinical associates, dedicated to improving patient care through the limitless potential of image-guided therapies. SIR’s members work in a variety of settings and at different professional levels—from medical students and residents to university faculty and private practice physicians. Visit sirweb.org.

The Society of Interventional Radiology is holding its Annual Scientific Meeting March 23–28, 2019 at the Austin Convention Center in Austin, Texas. Visit sirmeeting.org.