President’s Corner #34: It Was Great to be Back, and Time to Hand Over the Baton

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It Was Great to be Back, and Time to Hand Over the Baton

It was so great that London 2022 was able to go ahead. We are back!

With the ISMRM Business Meeting upon us, it is time for me to hand the baton to our 2022-2023 President, Scott Reeder. I have had the pleasure of working very close to him over the last 12 months during our weekly Executive meetings, and I am very glad to leave you all in his most capable hands.

It has been a great honour to have served as your 2021-2022 President. I am very grateful to all of those who volunteered time and energy for contributing to ISMRM committees and activities. While I had seen this before, the past year had given me a fuller picture of what an amazing community we have, and how committed everyone is to keep our Society to continue to play its important role. I have also discovered that some of you are so ready to jump on board to help out whenever a hand is needed – even for onerous tasks, without any hesitation and often not expecting (or even not wanting) any recognition. As I have heard somewhere (hopefully I am not embarrassing myself by unknowingly disclosing a silly source of where this came from, as I can’t remember where it was 😊), ‘honesty’ is not doing the right thing, but doing the right thing when no one is looking. And I got to know many of our members who do a lot of great work for the ISMRM without expecting this to be known or publicized. It is the tremendous work and time that so many of you dedicate to our society – this is how we grow and thrive. Pease keep on volunteering, nominating others, and putting your name forward to help the ISMRM help others.

Another big shout goes to our ISMRM Junior Fellows. I have personally seen how an amazing source of positive energy for our Society and, in turn, for the wider community.

London 2022 is almost over. As I have said in other occasions, our Annual Meetings play a key role not only in advancing our science and helping us network and collaborate but also, importantly, as an avenue for fostering engagement and creating the feeling that we are all part of a family, the ISMRM family. I am always amazed to hear that we have over 1200 members who have been ISMRM members for 20+ years – and with a large proportion already showing their “30+ years” ribbon on their badges! I am now in my 27th year and attending the Annual Meetings and the associated yearly catch up have been so instrumental in making me want to keep coming back. The last couple of years, with its virtual nature have certainly been different, and I am glad that we are starting to return a sense of some normality – although by no means we are through the pandemic, of course, as many of you well. Even I had a close contact during the last week before the meeting and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to travel to London. It was such a relief every day when the test came out negative and I feel well. I know I was one of the lucky ones.

I can’t end without thanking Roberta Kravitz and the whole team at the ISMRM Central Office. You may hear it from every president, but it really is not just a ‘token’ acknowledgement we do, but it really is as truthful statement as it can be. For the last 12 months I have been able to count on Roberta and her team for every single thing the year threw at me or for any project and idea I wanted to try. They always are so ready to help and support, and to find ways to make things happen. We have an extremely committed team at the Central Office, and please say ‘thank you’ to them if you have the chance in London! Between Roberta and Scott, I couldn’t have hoped for two other people to have my back over my president year! I have had tremendous support from them, and I have also learned a lot from their leadership skills. Thank you!

With that, I’d like to close with stressing how important it is for the ISMRM to have strong representation from its 3 components: basic scientists, clinicians and radiographers/MR technologists. The ISMRM is a community that greatly values each other’s contributions, and where we endeavour to make the “whole” greater than the “sum of its parts”, and together, We Are One. It is the combination of the contributions from everyone that help our community thrive and have the impact it has. All these various parts are key pieces of the MR puzzle. If we lose any of the pieces, we are all so much worse off. Let’s keep on working together to strengthen this great MR community of ours.

See you in Toronto!

Fernando Calamante
2021-2022 ISMRM President