The Reading Room

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UTMC Radiology’s Alumni Newsletter Dr. Ken Rule and Chief Residents Drs. Cain Green and Joanna Shechtel.

Spring 2020, Issue 1

Department of Radiology

Dr. Ken Rule Initiates Endowed Chair Dr. Ken Rule, Clinical Professor, has made a significant contribution to the Department of Radiology and its future endeavors in healing, education and discovery by initiating a gift fund for an Endowed Chair. By partnering with Association of University Radiologists, the second endowed chair for the University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine has been established through a five-year pledge of $2 million. Dr. Rule has devoted his career in practice and teaching to the Department for more than 30 years. He has seen it evolve into a well-established residency program with cutting-edge equipment.

Dr. Ken Rule Discusses the Evolution of Radiology at UTMC Interview by Debbie Jarvis • Photography by Kandi Hodges

What attracted you to The University of Tennessee Medical Center? In November of 1984, in my final year of Radiology residency at the University of Kentucky, I was asked by Dr. Ed Buonocore to visit what was then known as the University of Tennessee Memorial Research Center and Hospital and interview for a position in the Department of Radiology. Ed, who had chaired this Department from 1966-1980, had recently returned from the Cleveland Clinic to rebirth the Department. Though a native Knoxvillian, I had not necessarily planned on returning but it was obvious that Ed had a lot of momentum for the Department. So I signed on and started in

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Note from our Chair

Jeffrey Peeke, MD, Assistant Professor Interim Chair, Department of Radiology

and in reviving this newest issue. Debbie served the Department for 14 years as the coordinator of the Nuclear Medicine and Radiology Residency programs, retired several years ago, and currently serves as a consultant to our program. It is my pleasure to report that Dr. Ian Gray, MD, MBA, recently agreed to lead as Radiology Residency Program Director. Dr. Andrew Ferrell, who served as director for 4 years, will function as an advisor to Dr. Gray, and Dr. Rashad Dakar will continue to serve as associate director. Melisa McCormick, MBA, is our new residency program coordinator. A more in-

I am delighted to re-introduce The Reading Room, our Department of Radiology newsletter that is returning after several years in hiatus. The Reading Room will allow us to highlight departmental advances in healing, education, and discovery and spotlight the many talented individuals who make us UT Radiology. We are grateful to Mrs. Debbie Jarvis who was instrumental in creating our original newsletter

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Endowed Chair---------------1

Note from Directo---------- 2

Evolution of Radiology------1

Welcome Residents--------- 4

Note from Chair------------- 1


Welcome Program Coordinator---------------- 4

In Memorial------------------ 6

Welcome New Faculty----- 5

Stay In Touch---------------- 6

Thank You-------------------- 6

Though the Department occupied most of the first floor of the new 12-story Boling Pavilion, our equipment consisted of one CT scanner, one angio suite, three fluoro units, a mammographic unit, a gamma camera or two, an ultrasound room, several radiographic units, and a tomo unit, not to mention several film processors and a large room for film chemical vats.

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July 1985. He asked me to gain additional focus in Ultrasound and Pediatric Radiology, which I was able to do in my remaining residency months.

What was a day of work like then? Well, I certainly had time to read the newspaper! We each had a daily assignment to a modality: CT, US, Fluoro, Angio/Special Procedures, or Nuc Med. We all read the radiographs, and all of the films were read in a single reading room. It occupied a portion of the space where our current main reading room still exists. Back then the films were loaded on about seven multiviewers, which were these tank-like units with rolling panels numbered 1-50. If we all rolled the panels at once, it sounded like an approaching tornado! We dictated onto microcassettes, and our crew of a half dozen transcriptionists would periodically gather the cassettes and we would start a new one. Within a few days we would finally sign the report for placement on continued on page 3 the chart or into the mail.

What was the Department of Radiology like when you arrived? In 1985 I became the sixth practicing physician for the Association of University Radiologists, P.C. Dr. Ken Hicks and Dr. Paul Wooten remained from pre-1984, and Ed had recruited his Columbia Medical School classmate, a CT guru named Dr. Howie Gould. The practice also included Dr. Karl Hubner, a Nuclear Medicine specialist from Oak Ridge Associated Universities who graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

accommodate a higher-higher education is a testament to the physicians, staff, and patients that we work with each day. We offer a daily lecture series covering the foundations of radiology with interspersed education on the leading-edge topics and self-development. Our long-term goal is to collect, record, curate, and locally broadcast lectures to ensure no resident has to miss an educational opportunity and current staff can stay abreast of current trends outside their own specialty. Between our amazing staff, established residency, and the beautiful community in which we live, our applicant pool is incredibly strong. We are looking to host approximately 75 interviews out of hundreds of applicants. So far, I’ve been extremely pleased with the vast majority of them. A few of them have even chosen to do visiting rotations and I want to thank those of you who interacted with them for being so welcoming and inclusive. Finally, I want to thank each of you for helping to continue the tradition of excellence: thanks to the mentors, the lecturers, those that read-out with residents, and those of you providing the support that lets this happen. Please reach out if you want to do more: our residents need strong mentors, lecturers, and ideas on how to continue a tradition that always cultivates improvement. In today’s environment, geography is no impediment and thanks to the hard work of Dr. Rule and Dr. Peeke, it looks like we will be getting updated facilities to accommodate our sprawling reach. So, if you reside in beautiful East Tennessee, exotic Hawaii, or Gulf Shores, our residents could benefit from you.

Note from our Program Director R. Ian Gray, MD, MBA, Associate Professor Diagnostic Radiology Residency Program Director

Friends, Colleagues, and Educators: I want to express my sincerest gratitude for entrusting me with the honor of serving as the Radiology Residency Program Director. I have inherited a tradition of excellence in a time where a strong and diverse education will be necessary to confront a challenging but rewarding career as a radiologist. I’m proud to say that we have all the resources that we need to cultivate competent and confident radiologists, but I am most grateful for the people who provide their time and expertise to make it happen. Our program is 25 residents strong with 3 currently participating in the new ESIR pathway for the accelerated study of interventional radiology and 2 seeking increased competencies in nuclear medicine. The fact that our program can

Sincerely, Ian 2

Further responsibilities for me followed, initially succeeding Howie as Medical Director from 1995-96. Though I wanted Ed to continue as Chair forever, he stepped down in 1996, placing me into a much larger arena as Chair of an increasingly academic department, while serving as President of a growing private practice that had begun extending to other hospitals and systems in the region. The accelerating pace of change included PACS installation in 2001, speech recognition reporting in 2004, development of full Neurointerventional services, and provision of 24/7 in-house attending radiologist coverage. This was a far cry from the days when we would read x-rays after the emergency physicians were finished with them in the ED!

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We enjoyed collegial relations with the medical staff, a collaboration developed by the fact that they had to come to the reading room or file room to see their patients’ films. This was all a lot of fun for me and pretty easy, but little did I know how hard Ed was working in the background and how much change was to come! How did the environment change? Fruits of Ed’s hard work included buildout of a new wing in the late 1980s that housed two MRI units and subsequently a PET clinical imaging and research suite. Ed created a pioneer clinical PET program, bolstered by industry partnership and by his recruitment of UT Knoxville organic chemist George Kabalka, PhD, for new radiotracer development. Ed also established an Image Processing Lab, which carried out functions that are now automatically generated by the imaging units. Meanwhile, UTMC across the board was rapidly growing its programs and impact on the region, including development of the Trauma Center and Lifestar helicopter services, rapid growth of the Emergency Department, a transplant program, and much more. Timely and increasingly sophisticated services on our part included our focus on leading the region in subspecialization in Radiology, bringing in specialists in Neuroradiology, Musculoskeletal, Women’s Imaging, Cardiothoracic Imaging, Interventional Radiology, and Molecular Imaging. In regards to my professional development, the most transformative event was Ed’s decision to rebirth our Radiology Residency Program. It had lapsed in the late 1970s when he went to Cleveland. I was initially not enthusiastic about it as I was enjoying private practice with occasional opportunities to teach medical students and interns. But Ed assured me: “You’re going to love it!”

How has the residency program impacted the Department? Our residents are instrumental in extending our reach throughout the hospital, interfacing all day and night with other departments and helping represent us in multidisciplinary conferences and teaching opportunities. We have now graduated 132 residents over the past 31 years. They have entered a number of prestigious fellowships, from Boston Children’s Hospital to the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology to Duke University to Yale to Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic, to name a few. Our residents have filled not only many positions in our region but also practices from Alaska to Maine to Hawaii to New Zealand, and many points in between. Importantly, 19 residents have filled some of our own UTMC/AUR practice needs, including highly significant leadership positions. Dr. Kathy Hudson (class of 1994) lead our Breast Center from 1996 to 2015 and held an outstanding and long tenure as Residency Program Director from 2000 to 2015. Dr. Garnetta Morin-Ducote (class of 1996) is now our Director of Breast Imaging. And most recently, Dr. Jeff Peeke (class of 2006) is now excelling as our Department Chair. What challenges do you foresee? A few years ago, aided by the leadership of UHS CEO Joe Landsman and former GSM Dean James Neutens, UTMC fully embraced its position as the region’s only academic medical center in parallel with its pursuit of specialized centers of excellence and high quality. This academic commitment supports cutting-edge investigation and new program development so that we can further UTMC’s mission of excellence in healing, education and discovery. I am deeply honored by the creation of the Rule Endowed Chair of Radiology at UTMC. AUR has made a laudable and tremendous commitment to start this funding. We are confident that the growth of this endowment will fuel the attraction of talent and the development of infrastructure needed to advance the mission of education and discovery. We look with great pride on the achievements of our residents, former residents, and other professional staff, and we hope the Endowment will further everyone’s pride in the Department, past, present, and future.

How did this change evolve? We gained approval from the ACGME/RRC to restart the program in July 1988, bringing in our inaugural class consisting of Drs. Doug Layman, John Niethammer, Steve Matthews, and Robert Tucker. Kudos to them for getting the program off to a great start despite the small numbers, bolstered the next year by Drs. Dan Cotten, Sanjay Singh, the late Rusty Frye, and Joe Mack. What a different atmosphere the residency program provoked! All radiologists, private or academic, should be motivated to continue learning and honing new skills, but we all know that the best way to learn and grow is to teach the subject matter. We all had to step it up a few notches to ensure the full development of the residents to make sure that they would pass their board exams while also becoming both competent and confident in their practice of Radiology,. Some of my fondest memories are from 1991-1995 when I was allowed to serve as Program Director, a concentration of so many responsibilities and rewards. There is nothing better than watching a resident go from “deer in the headlights” to confident and excellent! 3

Welcome New Incoming Residents! Kasey Helmlinger, MD American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine Hobbies & Interests: Fishing, gardening, growing bonsai trees, hiking, learning Spanish, playing golf, reading fictional stories, and traveling.

Kenan Wilhoit, MD East Tennessee State University Quillen College Of Medicine Hobbies & Interests: Spending time with my wife and daughter, participating in basketball, softball, football, ultimate frisbee, soccer, inner tube water polo, golf, playing piano, and grilling.

Matthew Curry, MD University of Oklahoma College of Medicine Hobbies & Interests: Backpacking, camping, and running marathons. Nicholas Link, MD University of Louisville School of Medicine Hobbies & Interests: Hiking, guitar/music, biking/ running, all sports, cooking, landscaping, and home improvement.

Jacob DePolo, MD Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Marshall University Hobbies & Interests: Spending time with my family, helping my father and grandfather on our farm, improving in golf, and fishing.

WELCOME New Program Coordinator University of Tennessee Medical Center Department of Radiology Melisa McCormick joined the administrative team of Debra Blaylock and Bertha Jarnagin as the new Residency Program Coordinator in January 2019. She enjoys her job as the Program Coordinator because it allows her to utilize her education to the fullest extent. Melisa attended King University where she received her BS in Healthcare Administration and her MBA specializing in Human Resources. She said, “I am honored and blessed to work with the best residents, faculty, and staff!� Melisa is married to Scott and has three children, Heather (27), Zach (22), Cameron (17) and one grandchild, Oliver (10 months). She enjoys spending time with family, traveling, shopping, and reading. Debra Blaylock, Bertha Jarnagin, & Melisa McCormick

Note from our Chair

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depth spotlight of each of these leaders can be found throughout the newsletter. Additionally, a portion of this issue will be used to introduce the resident and attending physicians who have recently joined the Department. Drs. Curry, DePolo, Helmlinger, Link and Wilhoit began their radiology residency this past July; and Drs. Berquist,

Buchanan, Clark, Dewitt, Eberly, Mahony, Nicholson, Seaton and Quraishi have all joined the attending team within the past year. I hope that you enjoy The Reading Room. Sincerely, Jeffrey Peeke, MD


WELCOME New Faculty University of Tennessee Medical Center Department of Radiology Noel Melinda Bergquist, MD Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC Women’s Imaging Fellowship

Gregory Minwell, MD Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD Vascular and Interventional Radiology Fellowship

Justin Todd Buchanan, MD Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN Neuro mini-fellowship

Andrew D. Nicholson, MD University of California, San Francisco, CA Neurointerventional Radiology Fellowship

Emily J. Burdick, MD University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison, WI Breast Imaging FellowshipÂ

Jacob A. Noe, MD University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL Neuroradiology Fellowship

Phillip D. Clark, MD Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH Musculoskeletal Radiology Fellowship

Bradley R. Pollard, MD Emory University School of Law, Atlanta, GA Juris Doctor Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, Richmond, VA Interventional Radiology Fellowship

Cheryl DeWitt, MD Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC Abdominal Imaging Fellowship

Mohammed I. Quraishi, MD University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD Abdominal Imaging Fellowship Imaging Informatics

Robert G. Eberly, MD University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, TN Diagnostic Radiology

B. Cole Seaton, MD University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, TN Diagnostic Radiology

Jeffrey N. Mahony, MD University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, TN Diagnostic Radiology

D. Chris Walker, MD Cornell Medical Center/Memorial Kettering, Cancer Center, New York, NY Interventional Radiology Fellowship


IN MEMORIAL Edward Buonocore, MD

D. Matthew Bowen, MD

Dr. Buonocore finished his radiology residency at The Cleveland Clinic in 1963 and later served as Chairman of Radiology at UTMC from 1966-1979 and 1984-2000. He is credited with bringing magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography to the Department as well as recruiting multiple talented physicians and scientists who advanced the clinical and academic mission in a significant way. “Dr. B.” was personally responsible for numerous peer-reviewed publications and many national and international presentations and served as a mentor to many who followed in his footsteps.

Dr. Bowen completed his radiology residency at UTMC in 2006 followed by a fellowship in musculoskeletal imaging at Wake Forest. He then worked as a partner with Acumen Imaging in Pensacola, FL, for ten years before joining Dr. Tim Ozburn (UTMC radiology 2008) and colleagues with Georgia West Imaging in Carrollton, GA, January, 2017. Matt is remembered for his strong work ethic, sense of humor, and deep love for his family.

April 21, 1931 – February 15, 2018

December 16, 1974 – May 28, 2018

Thank You For Your Support For information about philanthropic giving to the UT Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Radiology, The Reading Room, please contact the Department of Radiology at 865-305-8685 or visit We look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.

Stay In Touch!

Alumni, please update your contact information by completing the simple form at or by calling the Department of Radiology at 865-305-8685. Thank you!


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