No complacency at Radiology Specialists of Florida
By PL JETER
Ten years ago, a trio of radiologists moved to Orlando and pooled their talents to form Radiology Specialists of Florida (RSF) at Florida Hospital Central Division and Central North Division. Today, the group represents one of the nation's largest diagnostic and interventional sub-specialized radiology groups.
RSF employs over 115 radiologists in various subspecialties to perform more than 2 million imaging studies annually, including those in bone density scan (DXA), computed tomography (CT) scan, interventional radiology (IR), MRI, mammography, nuclear medicine/PET-CT, ultrasound, women's imaging, emergency radiology, pediatric radiology, and body imaging. RSF recently recruited twelve radiologists including a cardiac imaging radiologist from Johns Hopkins Hospital.
With round the clock reads and accessibility, the group focuses on continuity of care, advanced technology, and high-image quality following Image Wisely® and Image Gently® guidelines for lowering the levels of radiation used in medically necessary studies. Coming soon: Prisma, a new unique and highly powerful 3T MRI platform with innovative applications. Its benefits include significantly increased signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), unprecedented long-term stability and minimized acoustic noise. It will be utilized specifically for neuroimaging.
In 2012, RSF added much-needed residency spots by establishing an ACGME-accredited diagnostic radiology residency program, which includes Early Specialization in Interventional Radiology (ESIR) accreditation. The group has a high faculty-to-resident ratio under the tutelage of education and research officer Laura W. Bancroft, MD, FACR and program director Kurt Scherer, MD. In 2016, Florida Hospital's diagnostic radiology residency program graduated its first class, with all four residents earning a 100 percent first-time boards pass rate.
"I enjoy the success the residents in our program have had here and I'm thrilled with the fellowships they've acquired through hard work and research," said L. Bancroft.
Connecting the Dots
RSF's founders- R. Scott Shill, MD, Bancroft, and Josiah W. Bancroft, III, MD -met during residency training at the University of Miami School of Medicine at Jackson Memorial Medical Center in Miami. All three doctors teach medical students at the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Florida State University (FSU) - Laura Bancroft's a full professor. All are board-certified in diagnostic radiology.
"I chose radiology because it could answer the clinical questions that percussing could not," said L. Bancroft, whose mom was a nurse at Barnes Jewish Hospital at Washington University in her hometown, St. Louis, Mo. She completed medical school at the University of Missouri and trained with world-famous fellowship director Thomas Berquist, MD at the Mayo Clinic Florida in Jacksonville, specializing in musculoskeletal radiology. She spent a dozen years serving in multiple roles, including director of its Musculoskeletal Fellowship Program and associate dean of the Mayo School of Allied Health. She is highly involved with the local Radiology Specialists Volunteer Program, a charitable group comprised of radiologists, spouses and support staff.
Joe Bancroft, husband of Laura Bancroft, is the acting president of RSF. A University of Florida College of Medicine grad and interventional radiologist, serves as a UCF clinical assistant professor and FSU adjunct professor.
Shill is RSF's vice president and interventional radiology section chief. The University of Health Sciences' Chicago Medical School grad remained in Miami to complete a fellowship in vascular/interventional radiology. Dr. Shill serves as the Radiation Safety Chairman for Florida Hospital Orlando, Florida Hospital Flagler and Florida Hospital New Smyrna.
While the men are managing the business, Laura Bancroft holds rotating leadership roles representing their specialty. In 2014, she was elected president of the Florida Radiological Society, which was honored with the Overall Excellence State Chapter Award at the annual American College of Radiology meeting in 2015. That year, she became the UCF Chair of Radiology. In 2017, she was named a fellow of the American College of Radiology, and teaches as a clinical professor of radiology at FSU.
Nuts & Bolts
Among high priority research projects, the RSF team is evaluating the treatment possibilities of molecular imaging for patients with somatostatin tumors. Lutathera (Lu-177 dotatate) is a new FDA-approved peptide receptor radionuclide therapy for the treatment of gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. Targeted therapy reduces the risk of cancer spreading by 79 percent when compared to a larger-than-normal dose of long-acting octreotide therapy. The treating agent is injected through an IV and the radioactive drug attaches to the tumor to essentially melt away the tumors, said Joe Bancroft.
RSF is working on radioembolization of liver cancer via a procedure using glass- or resin-encased radioactive isotope Yttrium (Y-90) to place directly in blood vessels that feed a tumor. This directed therapy blocks the supply of blood to the cancer cells and delivers a high dose of radiation to the tumor without damaging normal tissue.
"Using prostate MRI data, we're able to guide the surgeons to tumor areas for therapy," said Joe Bancroft.
RSF is studying prostate embolization, a procedure to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia, where microscopic beads are placed in the blood vessels to block the blood flow to the prostate. This oxygen deprivation to the cells causes the prostate gland to shrink.
Having many subspecialties allows RSF to provide specific solutions for patients and consultation opportunities for physicians.
The benefit to the referring physician and the patient is they know there's a team of multidisciplinary doctors that can handle their specific area of concern.
That's the challenge and the enjoyment of what the physicians do at Radiology Specialists of Florida.
"It covers all aspects of medicine. So it's challenging in regards you have to be up on every aspect of medicine, because every type of physician or practice comes to you for questions, and you're also the doctor's doctor because they send a patient to you when they're trying to figure something out, and hopefully you can lead them down a more targeted diagnostic trail to help them take care of patients," said Shill.