The RSNA announced on May 26 that the 106th edition of its annual conference scheduled for Chicago from November 29 to December 4 will instead be held as an all-virtual event. Concerns about the safety of attendees during the COVID-19 outbreak prompted the group to shift to an all-virtual meeting.
RSNA annually brings over 50,000 radiology professionals from around the world to Chicago. It is by far the largest event in radiology, and it is also the largest healthcare conference in the U.S.
But due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that the organization's mission focuses on health and patient care, the RSNA decided to act, with its primary consideration being the safety of attendees, presenters, exhibitors, and staff, according to RSNA President Dr. James Borgstede.
"While we are disappointed we could not safely meet in Chicago this year, we continue to stand proudly in partnership with the many physicians, [healthcare] professionals, researchers, and companies doing their part to stop the pandemic and preserve public health, and we look forward to a successful virtual program," Borgstede said in a statement.
RSNA 2020 becomes just the latest medical meeting to fall victim to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other healthcare meetings have either been canceled outright or have been shifted to a virtual format.
In making the announcement, the RSNA noted that it has canceled the in-person meeting only twice before, once in 1943 and again in 1945, because of transportation and gasoline supply issues during and immediately following World War II.