Chapter 08: A Turning Point in Building Interventional Radiology in 1998

Title

Chapter 08: A Turning Point in Building Interventional Radiology in 1998

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Description

In this chapter, Dr. Hicks explains how the Section of Interventional Radiology emerged from its period of lassitude in the late 90s with the support of David Callendar, the Physician in Chief, who send Dr. Barbara Summers to help him devise an organized process for the section’s transformation into a strong program that attracted innovative, quality recruits.

Identifier

HicksM_02_20180501_C08

Publication Date

5-1-2018

Publisher

The Making Cancer History® Voices Oral History Collection, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

City

Houston, Texas

Topics Covered

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center - Building the Institution; Building/Transforming the Institution; Leadership; On Leadership; MD Anderson Culture; Working Environment; Institutional Mission and Values; Professional Practice; The Professional at Work

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Disciplines

History of Science, Technology, and Medicine | Oncology | Oral History

Transcript

T. A. Rosolowski, PhD:

So how did you finesse that challenge?

Marshall Hicks, MD:

I think the biggest breakthrough for us actually was when I—David Callender was the, I want to say was the physician in chief at the time. The title has changed a little bit. He might have been—I don’t think he was executive vice president. I think it was another title but anyway, David Callender was physician in chief at the time. I had gotten to know him because he’d come down a couple times when I first got there. I finally just reached out and asked him, kind of told him what we were challenged with, and he sent two people down; Dianne Fattig from an administrative support standpoint, to help, and Barbara Summers [oral history interview], who was working in his office at the time. Barbara came down and assessed and said, we need to start putting some resources into helping you get where you need to go. Some of it, I didn’t know I needed, because I was still new at this as well, in terms of sequencing and prioritization of resources and things like that. You were kind of in the middle of it and you don’t always have a clear head about it, you need help and that’s kind of where we were.

T. A. Rosolowski, PhD:

That’s interesting, I don’t think anybody’s ever mentioned that in that way before, where you’re in sort of the chaos situation, how do you prioritize requests so that the institution can act in an appropriate way.

Marshall Hicks, MD:

Right, and Barbara helped with that. She was tremendously helpful. She recognized and said let’s add these pieces first and these will help you the most and then we can kind of get it organized and start to get your head above water where you can manage. Looking back, it was pretty remarkable that we were able to recruit some top notch people pretty early. Kamran Ahrar was one of the first, who is still here, A-H-R-A-R, Kamran with a K.

T. A. Rosolowski, PhD:

H-A-R.

Marshall Hicks, MD:

A-H-R-A-R. Kamran with a K, K-A-M-R-A-N. Kamran could have gone anywhere. He was right out of fellowship and had offers from Hopkins and other places on the East Coast and chose to come here. That’s when I realized that we were creating something special that was attractive.

T. A. Rosolowski, PhD:

What was attracting people like Dr. Ahrar?

Marshall Hicks, MD:

I think the commitment to putting in the resources, the equipment, the new hospital, the opportunity. Oncology was starting to be something that --it was pretty clear that within interventional radiology, there was a lot of opportunity. Particularly with some of the ablation procedures, the different things where there was some real opportunity to really make an impact in patient care. Just like in imaging, where there was an explosion in oncology. Interventional radiology was starting to participate in that as well, and it was becoming pretty obvious that that was really a new frontier for us, interventional radiology. I think he was one of these individuals that saw that, had a vision to be able to look down the horizon, even at a young stage of his career, and see that. Frank Morello also joined around that time, same thing, to start a fellowship. Then about a year later, as we got things established, Mike Wallace called me and was interested in coming over from UTL Science Center. He is someone I had helped train up at Washington University and remained in contact with, a good friend. So he was very interested in the running --day to day operations. Frank Morello became the fellowship director, Kamran started to develop the ablation program, so we started to really get a team of people, and I was more into the administration, trying to get the resources, trying to help us at that level, institutionally.

T. A. Rosolowski, PhD:

I’m just trying to get a sense of when did the team start to coalesce, how long after you arrived?

Marshall Hicks, MD:

It was about two years, two to three years.

T. A. Rosolowski, PhD:

So we’re talking around 2000 then?

Marshall Hicks, MD:

Two-thousand, 2001, in that timeframe. We started to gel and started to reach a critical mass, where we went --we were starting to build out as well, the entire team. We started to hire physician assistants, so that allowed us to set up a clinic where we’d see the patients prior to the procedure. That made a big difference in quality. The patients were more comfortable understanding the procedure, getting their questions answered, understanding the consent process and the risk. Frankly, it also helped us from the standpoint of making sure we didn’t have no-show. We had fewer no-shows because we had talked with them, we answered their questions, they knew when they had their appointment for the procedure. When you have valuable resources, high end equipment like that, you want the patients to show up.

T. A. Rosolowski, PhD:

Yeah, you might need it to be used.

Marshall Hicks, MD:

Yes, because it also delays --somebody else that could have been done gets delayed. Getting them to come in on the same day because most of the procedures, we need them to have not eaten or have anything to drink in a couple of hours. It was a time when we were—we added schedules, nurses, dedicated nurses. We started to get dedicated transport resources for bringing patients in from the hospital, from the inpatient side, really building out the entire team. So it was not only a physician team that was starting to come together and provide different areas of—it was the whole criticality of all the different groups that contribute to making it a success.

Chapter 08: A Turning Point in Building Interventional Radiology in 1998

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