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PERSONAL ACCOUNT OF BRAD POUNDS
January 17, 2005
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I became involved with the Southwestern Chapter Society of Nuclear Medicine society leadership by first attending local nuclear medicine technologist section meetings in the Houston area. From that standpoint I recognized the need for further educational advancement from the scientific perspective and attended the annual meeting of the Southwestern Chapter.
I was fortunate enough to have provided not only scientific presentations and posters, but also to be invited to participate as a volunteer leader of the Southwestern Chapter. This was important as many of us recognized the need for the professional advancement of nuclear medicine technology, and the only way to do that was to advance our skills and careers through the professional society.
The Southwestern Chapter Technologist Section was fortunate in that we had a number of local but also national leaders that were involved with many issues facing technology during this period.
I'm very proud of the many successes that we shared during my involvement both with the Southwestern Chapter but also the National level of the Society of Nuclear Medicine technology. There were many key issues that we were grappling with in this period, and those include the shortage of qualified nuclear medicine technologists, also issues from the federal requirement to enact state legislation of all radiologic technologists, and then lastly the Southwestern Chapter Society of Nuclear Medicine technologists recognized the need to develop future leaders, and we actively addressed this issue by inviting other persons to take on positions whether they be in the committee perspective but also in the elected leadership as well.
There is no one single person that I can highlight that influenced my career or assisted in the -- the Southwestern Chapter leadership; however, there were several during this very critical period, and those that I can -- would like to thank and recognize for their professional support but also personal interest include Dr. Jerry Prather, Joe Leonard, Bob Sonnemaker, Terence Bevens, and John Burdine.
As well there were numerous technologists, both friends, colleagues, and peers, that assisted in many of the activities that the Southwestern Chapter was involved with. Those include Art Hall, Shirley Ledbetter, Terri Boyce, Martha Pickett, Joel Culver, Deborah Haven, and John Pickett.
The Southwestern Chapter has always been a blend of interested physicians, scientists, and technologists. We all worked together, and I think that's the one important characteristic that the physicians, technologists, scientists, pharmacists, vendors, and distributors recognized, that we're all in this together; and it was not one group that sought superiority over the other, but insured that we all met our individual and mutual successes.
I'm fortunate enough to have lived through what I describe as the industrial revolution of nuclear medicine as a technology and a career, first using rectilinear scanners, radioactive iodine, and then advancing through to many technetium-labeled products, and also advanced equipment has been quite a pleasure and one that I've been involved with in many aspects.
Nuclear medicine technology in the Southwestern Chapter also insured that our educational advancement was first and foremost, and with the evolving protocols and practices, whether it's related to myocardial perfusion imaging, single photon emission computed technology, labeled red blood cells, gated blood-pool imaging, or a variety of techniques to assess vascularity through venography and lung scanning.
The Southwestern Chapter and the practice of nuclear medicine technology has always been on the forefront. One of the unique applications that many of us were involved with at a time of the Southwestern Chapter success was the creation of the exhibitors' raffle, and this was a creative idea which allowed increased participation by the attendees and the many commercial exhibitors.
This was a very simple application of using small door prize giveaways to assure that the attendees went in and visited with our commercial exhibitors. The commercial vendors were really the backbone and financial foundation of the Southwestern Chapter, and this was a very simple way to ensure that the many attendees recognized their participation and acknowledged and thanked them for their ongoing support.
I'm equally pleased and professionally satisfied that my development and involvement with the Southwestern Chapter Society of Nuclear Medicine enabled me the preparation to take on increasing responsibilities, and I did so at the National level of the Society of Nuclear Medicine. I participated both as the scientific and education chair of two National meetings, and also on the executive committee as a member of the finance committee as well as president-elect and president of the Society of Nuclear Medicine Technologists Section.
During my tenure in almost 30 years of nuclear medicine technology and industrial involvement, I've experienced what has been described as the death of nuclear medicine on at least two, if not three, occasions. Initially with the use of radionuclide brain scanning, which was replaced in the mid 1970s with CT scanning, the replacement of gated blood-pool imaging and assessment of left ventricular function by echocardiography, and now the looming competitive threat of computed angiography and MR cardiovascular testing to replace myocardial perfusion imaging.
Nuclear medicine has found in every instance a way to preserve its solidarity and its unique application of both physiological assessment and functional performance of organs and tissues. The future of nuclear medicine cannot be stagnant, however, and the agents which are most promising on the horizon are directed towards metabolic imaging, the unique characterization of disease processes so that early detection of disease can result in treatment and improved patient outcomes.
Whether or not the future of nuclear medicine lies solely in the use of PET imaging, remains to be seen; however, with the plethora of nuclear medicine cameras both in hospitals and in physicians offices, I do not see this industry or technology dying in the near future.