OLA Committee Chair Enjoys Interacting with Physicians Locally and Internationally
by Heather S. Hopkins
As the program director of both the Interventional Radiology (IR) Integrated Residency and the IR Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, T. Gregory Walker, MD, FSIR, is very involved in training future interventional radiologists, which he finds both rewarding and humbling. In his experiences as an interventional radiologist, Dr. Walker has watched the field undergo dramatic changes with the implementation of the IR residency as the means of training physicians in this specialty.
“I am so tremendously encouraged by what this level of enhanced clinical training means for the quality of care that we can provide for our patients,” he said, “and what it means for the future of our specialty.”
An ABR volunteer since 2007, Dr. Walker is chair of the Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) committee and serves as an oral examiner for the IR/DR certification.
He said it is fortunate that the OLA committee meets in person annually for face-to-face question writing and review. This provides an excellent opportunity for members to assess the questions for their appropriateness as a test of “walking-around knowledge.”
“If multiple seasoned interventional radiologists are stumped by a particular question, then that is unlikely to represent ‘walking-around knowledge’,” he said. “Often, we take a committee vote if this is the case.”
One of the things Dr. Walker likes best about volunteering with the ABR is the opportunity to interact with outstanding physicians on a regular basis.
“We really have a fun time together while also accomplishing something that we all feel is very important,” he said. “Furthermore, the support by the staff of the ABR is simply phenomenal and allows volunteers like me to be very effective and efficient.”
When he has time, Dr. Walker likes to travel internationally and connect with physicians in other countries to discover common interests as well as learn about their unique circumstances and challenges. He also loves spending time relaxing and enjoying the seashore and beaches at his vacation home in Provincetown, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod.