As CIRSE prepares to meet in Glasgow from 13-17 September, we Zoom On CIRSE President, Professor Anna-Maria Belli. Prof. Belli is a Consultant Radiologist and Professor of Interventional Radiology at St. George’s Hospital and Medical School in London, UK. She has also held important positions within the British Society of Interventional Radiology and European Congress of Radiology, as well as serving on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee, and Clinical Guidelines Group for the management of heavy menstrual bleeding.
1.What are your key areas of interest and research?
Vascular interventional radiology, particularly the endovascular management of peripheral arterial disease, treatment of vascular malformations and embolisation for massive haemorrhage, including trauma, obstetrics and the management of uterine fibroids.
2.What are the major challenges in your field?
There has been considerable progress with respect to standardising training and assessment for IRs in Europe. Harmonising treatment throughout Europe is a major challenge. I believe we are gaining ground as the EBIR (European Board of Interventional Radiology) examination, which is based on the IR curriculum, is being widely adopted.
Another major challenge is acquiring recognition of IR as a distinct (sub)specialty under the umbrella of radiology. Interventional radiologists need a strong infrastructure to be able to practise safely, with additional requirements such as clinical time and skills, as well as the need to train larger numbers of IRs if we are to provide a 24/7 service.
3.What is your top management tip?
I do not consider myself as having good management skills. I believe in leading by example, but my success is due to the very strong team I have working with me. They inspire me and motivate me by their dedication. So I suppose my management tip is to build a good team which will support you.
4. What would you single out as a career highlight?
Being elected president of CIRSE of course! It is an incredible honour and responsibility.
5. If you had not chosen this career path you would have become a…?
I think most likely a business woman, as the challenge of setting up, running my own show and making a success of it appeals to me.
6. What are your personal interests outside of work?
My personal interests usually take a back seat. I have a family who are the most important people in the world to me. I also enjoy the challenge of clay pigeon shooting. I look forward to having the time to grow vegetables, which is something I would love to do.
7. Your favourite quote?
Groucho Marx: “Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men – the other 999 follow women.”
Professor Anna-Maria Belli qualified from the Middlesex Hospital, University of London in 1980, completed her radiology training at St. George’s Hospital, then worked as a consultant in Sheffield and at the Hammersmith Hospital in London before returning to St. George’s in 1992. Dr. Belli became a Professor of Interventional Radiology in 2008.
Prof. Belli has authored 23 book chapters and over 150 peer-reviewed publications, and has edited two books. She has also been involved in numerous clinical trials, such as the FEMME trial in the UK. A strong proponent of multidisciplinary collaboration, she worked hard to build up close collaboration between the IR and obstetrics and gynaecology departments at St. George’s.
Prof. Belli has been active in a number of national and international organisations. She is currently serving as the president of CIRSE, of which she has been a valued member for many years, and where she has held various positions on the Executive Committee. As Chairperson of the IR Curriculum Task Force, she played a vital role in the development of the European Curriculum and Syllabus for Interventional Radiology, which aims to ensure that IRs are held to comparable standards within Europe.
In the past, she has also served as President of the British Society of Interventional Radiology; was on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence’s (NICE) interventional procedures advisory committee, as well as its clinical guidelines group for the management of heavy menstrual bleeding; and was the radiology member of the Committee of Safety of Devices of the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency for nine years. Prof. Belli has also served as Chairperson of the Interventional Radiology Committee of the European Congress of Radiology (ECR), and as a member of the Programme Planning Committee of the ECR.