Vijay M. Rao, M.D., RSNA Board of Directors Liaison for Information Technology and Annual Meeting, is a global authority on head and neck imaging, who is also recognized for her health services research in radiology.
“RSNA is the premier scientific meeting of the year in radiology,” said Dr. Rao, noting that she has been attending for more than 25 years. “This meeting provides an exciting glimpse into what is new on the horizon in all aspects of radiology—new innovations and new technology, be it CT or PET scanners or new ways to gather and distribute images using the cloud.”
Dr. Rao is The David C. Levin Professor and Chair of Radiology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University. A graduate of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Dr. Rao has remained on the faculty at Jefferson ever since completing her residency there in 1978. She was appointed associate chair for education in 1989 and vice chair for education in 2000. In 2002, she became the first woman chair of a clinical department in Jefferson’s history.
Dr. Rao has published more than 200 papers and 225 abstracts in the medical literature and co-edited MRI and CT Atlas of Correlative Imaging in Otolaryngology. She is a sought-after lecturer and educator and has made nearly 300 scientific presentations at meetings worldwide.
An RSNA member since 1981, Dr. Rao has led numerous courses and sessions at RSNA annual meetings and served on the Health Services Policy & Research subcommittee of the RSNA Scientific Program Committee. She has served the RSNA Research & Education (R&E) Foundation in a number of roles, including member of the Board of Trustees since 2008.
“The R&E Foundation provides a phenomenal opportunity for young radiology researchers to obtain grant funding to be able to get protected time and or funding to work on their novel ideas,” Dr. Rao said. “Many recipients of these grant awards have stayed in academia and have been subsequently successful in obtaining substantial funding from the National Institutes of Health, other foundations or industry to continue doing cutting-edge scientific work in the field of radiology. Some have become leaders in the field. Many of them are making a big difference, and it was the RSNA that got them started.”
Dr. Rao has served in committee or leadership roles in a number of major radiologic organizations including the American Society of Neuroradiology and American College of Radiology and regional organizations. She has served as president of the American Society of Head and Neck Radiology, the American Association for Women Radiologists and the Association of Program Directors in Radiology, which bestowed on her in 2006 its Distinguished Achievement Award. Dr. Rao has served on the editorial boards of several radiology journals including Academic Radiology, the Journal of the American College of Radiology and the American Journal of Roentgenology.
Dr. Rao was also honored in 2005 by the Philadelphia Business Journal as one of 25 Women of Distinction throughout the region. She has been many times chosen by her peers as a Top Doctor in Radiology, listed in Philadelphia Magazine.