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Radiology practice produces debate-style workshop

October 2, 2014
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Radiology practice produces debate-style workshop
Manish Varma. Photo via

A radiology practice is producing a workshop downtown with a series of 30-minute debates on clinical scenarios for the health care industry on Saturday.

Advanced Radiology Services in Grand Rapids is hosting the second-annual livewIRe Workshop for Interventional Radiology Education at the Amway Grand Plaza, from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is being produced with the joint sponsorship of Grand Rapids Medical Education Partners.

Everyday debates

Interventional radiology doctors, or IR, are board certified and specialize in minimally invasive, targeted treatments, according to the Society of Interventional Radiology. The sub-specialty of radiology often incorporates the use of x-rays and other imaging methods and catheter-delivered stents.

During the day-long continuing medical education event, or CME, medical students, advanced practice professionals, nurses and technologists will participate in sessions that pair clinical specialists with IR physicians to debate common clinical scenarios, with audience participation.

After the end of each half-hour session, the audience is able to vote on their phones to provide feedback on which procedure they would have chosen for a scenario. The interactive polling is meant to engage the audience.

Dr. Manish K. Varma, coordinator for the livewIRe event and a board certified interventional and diagnostic radiologist with Advanced Radiology Services, said this year’s event incorporates the dialogue that occurs on a daily basis between traditional clinicians and IR doctors on different procedures used on patients.

“We have 11 clinicians paired with our IR docs to go through different clinical scenarios,” Varma said. “I think it is going to be kind of exciting for the whole medical field to kind of hear that debate out loud, because this sort of debate is kind of played out every day in a hospital setting.”


The event will feature discussions on several clinical scenarios: colorectal disease, gastrointestinal bleeding, pulmonary masses, uterine fibroids, pelvic congestion syndrome, cerebral malformations, approaches to elevated PSA, prostate CA and liver tumors.

The speakers at the livewIRe workshop are specialists in a range of fields: obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, surgical oncology, interventional oncology, neurosurgery and gastroenterology.

"What do those guys do?"

Varma said the livewIRe workshop originally developed as a way to connect with other professionals in health care and share knowledge on the work of IR doctors.

“We do a lot of really cool things: minimally invasive surgery, essentially,” Varma said. “We are one of the largest sub-specialties in the country as well, and I think the medical community at large should know more about what we do.

“Last year, I started the conference basically to reach out to the other medical health care professionals — mid levels, nurses, techs and docs — because they employ our services, but I think a lot of times they wonder, ‘Wait, what do those guys do?’”

After the positive response from last year and about 100 attendees, Varma said the second-annual livewIRe workshop evolved into a debate-style format based on audience feedback.

“The cool thing about what we do is we pretty much touch everybody from head to toe as far as the procedures that we do from brain aneurisms down to the foot,” Varma said. “We had neurosurgeons there. We had general surgeons there. We had nurses there. And they were all kind of impressed. The feedback was very positive, so that is why we wanted to grow on that feedback, and I wanted to integrate more of the clinicians as well this year.”


Developed specifically for health care providers with patients who are likely to benefit from IR services, the event was planned according to standards set by the Michigan State Medical Society for CME credits.

Due to the content-heavy debate and submission of an evaluation after the program, Varma said attendees can claim various types of credits like they would at any typical credit-bearing conference.

On the town

The 2014 livewIRe workshop will also feature a discussion by former ArtPrize winner Chris Laporte in the afternoon, with a guided tour of the top ten entries later in the evening.

The workshop takes place during ArtPrize’s first round of public voting.

“He is going to be talking in the afternoon about what it was like to win ArtPrize,” Varma said. “I think it is kind of cool that ArtPrize is also about innovation and looking at things differently, and I feel that is what we do as well.”

The ArtPrize tour is scheduled to follow an optional dinner at Bistro Bella Vita downtown.

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