Dr. Tara Graham is the current Chief of Vascular and Interventional Radiology at Trillium Health Partners and Lecturer at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine. She completed her Interventional Radiology training at University Health Network in Toronto in 2013 and has served on the CAIR board since 2014. Her practice includes Interventional Oncology, peripheral vascular disease and aortic interventions. She is the CAIR’s Board President and the Scientific Director of the CAIR Annual Scientific Meeting.
CAIR – Dr. Graham, it has been a little over a month since you seized power as the new CAIR Board President, what excites you most about your new position?
TG – There is a lot to be excited about! I think we have all been impacted greatly by the pandemic, as physicians and individuals. It’s been exhausting but it has given some time for reflection that I think has been valuable. I see an opportunity to help bring a community back together in a way that can be stronger than pre-COVID, with more diverse avenues for education and IR advocacy.
CAIR – What opportunities do you see for Interventional Radiology in Canada?
TG – I see a great opportunity for the involvement of Canadian IRs in evidence based medicine (EBM), clinical trials and consensus guidelines. As a discipline we have a real challenge in increasing our EBM footprint compared to other specialties; these endeavors are hard and time consuming! I think we need to harness our international collective expertise and resources in order to make impactful contributions to the IR literature and practice. Canada has world-class IRs and it’s important that we continue to lead and contribute to our discipline in this way.
CAIR – What challenges do you see facing IR in Canada?
TG – It remains hard to explain to others what exactly we do as Interventional Radiologists. This includes patients, but also other physicians, our DI colleagues and hospital administrators. This is a barrier to IR access in Canada. Patients who would benefit from our care either don’t see us at all or are referred at too late a stage in their disease process. It also impacts our ability to receive resource funding at the local hospital level and ability to successfully achieve appropriate clinical time (ie. IR clinic rotations) from our DI groups.
CAIR – Are there any new upcoming CAIR projects that you can share with us?
TG – We have many exciting projects in the pipeline. The Virtual Learning Series and Virtual Angio Clubs have been very successful and we are continuing to develop content to deliver to our membership. I hope to bring these events beyond the pandemic with an in-person twist that will allow members and our industry partners to meet locally concurrent with national livestreams. CAIR is also increasing our footprint on social media platforms and in partnership with CIRSE, our very own Dr. Nevin de Korompay will take over the CIRSE Twitter account. Watch out for that one!
CAIR: For anyone reading who might be new to CAIR, how might they get involved with the organization?
TG – First step is become a CAIR member! We have a great partnership with CIRSE and our CAIR membership also comes with a CIRSE membership which is another great incentive to join. We also have many opportunities for volunteering within the organization, whether it is contributing content to CAIR express, becoming involved in our Scientific Committee for the Annual meeting, or engaging in opportunities for medical student and resident education. If you are looking to become involved, you can contact our Executive Assistant extra-ordinaire Siri Boulom at firstname.lastname@example.org and she can help point you to the right direction!
CAIR – Last question, tentatively, when and where will the next in person CAIR meeting be held? Follow-up question, have you considered Saskatoon?
TG – Great question! We are excited to announce that our very first CAIR meeting will be our Grand Slam and Catastrophes course in the beautiful Whistler BC (Feb 3-7 2022). It is a fantastic event and I encourage you all to sign up! To put on optimistic light on COVID, I think many members who have not been to this event had an opportunity to attend virtually this year. It’s even better in person, with great cases, colleagues, skiing and beer during cases for those who are interested 😊.
We also have the triumphant return of our annual meeting in Montreal May 22-29th 2022! The Scientific Committee is getting ready to welcome everyone back with a stellar agenda and good times in one of our most popular host cities!
CAIR has never been to Saskatoon! We will be in Quebec City in 2023 but we should we add it to the candidate list for 2024? I hear it’s the Paris of the Prairies, is that true? If so, then we should definitely make it happen.
CAIR – It IS the Paris of the Prairies! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions, looking forward to all the upcoming programming and events!