The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) presented its highest honor, the SIR Gold Medal, to Curtis W. Bakal, MD, MPH, FSIR; James G. Caridi, MD, FSIR; and Ziv J Haskal, MD, FSIR, during its Annual Scientific Meeting in Phoenix. These awards acknowledge distinguished and extraordinary service to SIR or to the specialty of interventional radiology. Following the awards ceremony, Williams S. Rilling, MD, FSIR, delivered the 2023 Charles T. Dotter Lecture.
“Each of this year’s honorees have helped transform IR through their work and helped shape IR’s future through their mentorship. I am proud to bestow these honors on such worthy physicians who are role models for all of us,” said SIR 2022–2023 President Parag J. Patel, MD, MS, FSIR, an interventional radiologist and professor of radiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.
Meet the Gold Medal Recipients
Curtis W. Bakal, MD, MPH, FSIR, was the SIR president from 2001–2002, previously serving on the SIR Executive Council and the editorial board of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology. He was the founding director of the IR Fellowship program at Montefiore and was an examiner for the American Board of Radiology. Along with his colleagues at Montefiore Einstein in New York, Bakal worked to refine the techniques of infrapopliteal angioplasty early in his clinical career. He represented the SIR on the TransAtlantic Intersociety Consensus working group (TASC I) and on the American Heart Association/American College of Cardiology Peripheral Vascular Disease Writing Group, two multispecialty efforts that resulted in comprehensive published guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of peripheral arterial disease. A frequent presenter at the SIR Annual Scientific Meeting and other conferences, Bakal has also published and lectured on the evolution of technology and its influence on the history of IR. Bakal identified the need for a body of robust evidence-based outcomes guidelines so that interventional procedures would become more widely accepted. The SIR Standards Division then began the process of developing such a body of work, using scientifically based consensus techniques. He received his medical and public health degrees from Harvard after graduating from Yale College. He trained in public health in New York City, diagnostic radiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and then completed a fellowship in angiography at New York Medical College.
James G. Caridi, MD, FSIR, was member of the SIR Foundation Gala Committee from 2012–2015 and a donor to SIR Foundation. He supported research that advanced the specialty to the benefit of our patients and encouraged other IRs to follow his lead. A recipient of the SIR Foundation Pilot Research Grant in 2002, he also ran scientific studies that furthered our understanding of IR treatments, contributing to 6 book chapters and more than 60 peer-reviewed publications. Caridi passed away on Nov. 23, 2021, after a 10-year battle with cancer. A strong advocate for patients, he shared his experiences with members at SIR 2018 when he discussed his view as a patient on “the other side of the glass.”
Caridi led by example, inside the IR suite and out. He was a dedicated mentor to many practicing IRs and the recipient of multiple teaching awards. His favorite saying and life lesson was to “Do good and forget it.” Caridi was a graduate of the University of Florida College of Medicine, where he did an internship in pediatrics. After his radiology residency at North Shore University Hospital, Manhasset, New York, he completed an IR fellowship at the University of Florida. Caridi was a professor of vascular and interventional radiology and chair of the department of radiology at Tulane University Medical Center. Prior to joining Tulane in 2013, Caridi served as chief of interventional radiology at the University of Florida where he studied and worked with Irvin F. Hawkins Jr., MD, FSIR, the “father of carbon dioxide angiography.”
Ziv J Haskal, MD, FSIR, served as editor-in -chief of the Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology from 2011–2020 and was a long-serving member of the SIR Executive Committee and the SIR Foundation Board of Directors. He has chaired numerous committees within the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and the American College of Radiology and served in numerous societal leadership and committee positions, including as president of the Society of Gastrointestinal Interventions and International Society of Neurovascular Disease.
Haskal pioneered novel education in the early 1990s with the first online monthly case discussion forum (the SIR Case Club), running complex on-site live mechanical and microscope demonstrations at medical conferences and the creation of virtual reality-based content. In 2014, he was bestowed the Leaders in Innovation Award by SIR Foundation, and in 2007, he chaired the SIR Annual Scientific Meeting. He co-founded the Global Embolization Symposium and Technologies (GEST) meeting and coined its name. Haskal’s research has spanned the breadth of IR, beginning with defining early research in transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (TIPS) and complex portal hypertension. He is a tenured professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. After training in diagnostic and interventional radiology at the University of California, San Francisco, he joined the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania in 1992, before moving on to build interventional services at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University and then later at the University of Maryland, as professor and chief of interventional radiology.
Meet the 2023 Dr. Charles T. Dotter Lecturer
Williams S. Rilling, MD, FSIR, is a former member of the SIR Executive Council from 2006–2008 and SIR Foundation Board of Directors from 2005–2008, helping to co-direct thee successful meetings on the multidisciplinary treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. He helped found the Association of Program Directors in Interventional Radiology (APDIR) and the primary certificate task force, both of which have had profound implications on the future of IR training. Subsequently, he served on the SIR Annual Meeting Committee, completing this term as 2011 meeting chair.
Rilling completed both his undergraduate studies in biochemistry and medical school at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Following his internship at Virginia Mason hospital in Seattle, he completed radiology residency at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW). He proceeded to train in vascular and interventional radiology at Northwestern University in Chicago and returned to assume a faculty position in IR at MCW where he has practiced ever since. As the subspecialty of interventional oncology was evolving, Rilling served on the Board of Directors for the World Conference of Interventional Oncology (WCIO) and on WCIO’s Annual Meeting Committee. He was WCIO meeting chair in 2014. As a founding member of the Society of Interventional Oncology, he has been on the SIO Board of Directors and SIO Executive Committee, serving as SIO president from 2019–2021.