COVID-19: Prevailing Clinical, Imaging, Health Care and Economic Issues of 2022

On Friday, Jan. 28, Parker will host a multidisciplinary virtual symposium, through the ARRS, focused on the principal issues health care providers around the world face as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Presenting physicians will include specialists in radiology, pulmonary medicine, infectious diseases and oncology.

Sessions will cover topics such as the current state of COVID-19 mutations and variants, long COVID symptoms and treatments, thoracic imaging findings of long COVID, the impact of the pandemic on cancer screenings and how to overcome vaccine hesitancy.

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Mark S. Parker, M.D., FACR, a professor in the Department of Radiology, is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Educator Award from the American Roentgen Ray Society, or ARRS. Designed to honor educators in the field of radiology with a track record of improving the society’s educational program through new and innovative activities, the award goes to a single physician each year.

For Parker, who joined VCU School of Medicine’s faculty in 2001, the award is a testament to why he chose to pursue a career in academic medicine: the opportunity to shape the professional growth and development of young physicians in training.

“Even though I have been doing this for decades, it’s still amazing and rewarding for me to witness the development and growth of our residents,” Parker said. “It’s very exciting to have trainees who are like sponges. They just absorb so much, and then eventually grow and mature during their training into the best diagnosticians possible, diagnostic radiologists to whom we can entrust our own health care and that of others in the future.”

This award is especially meaningful to Parker because the ARRS was the first radiological society to welcome him to the specialty of radiology during his training. Since joining the society in the 1990s, he has been an active participant by delivering numerous lectures at national meetings, serving on committees and getting involved with educational programs, all of which have impacted students, trainees and, ultimately, patient care.

“I want to emphasize how grateful I am to the ARRS for this recognition,” Parker said. “I have always considered them, since I was training as an early resident, to be my personal society.”

Ann Fulcher, M.D., chair of the Department of Radiology, said she was not surprised to learn that Parker received the award.

“Dr. Parker's selection as the 2022 recipient of the Distinguished Educator Award brings much-deserved recognition not only to him and the VCU Department of Radiology, but also to the entire university, as the ARRS is one of the two premier radiology societies in the U.S.,” said Fulcher. "While we at VCU have long known about his expertise as an educator, this award underscores that his educational reach and impact are nationwide.”

David Chelmow, M.D., interim dean of the VCU School of Medicine and executive vice president for medical affairs at VCU Health, agreed.

“This well-deserved recognition shines a light on Dr. Parker’s unparalleled dedication to our students and trainees,” said Chelmow. “We are immensely grateful for his innovation and leadership in shaping the next generation of skilled, compassionate radiologists.”