RSNA Press Release

William T. Thorwarth Jr., M.D., Joins RSNA Board

Released: December 3, 2009

Media Contacts: RSNA Newsroom 1-312-949-3233
Before 11/28/09 or after 12/03/09: RSNA Media Relations: 1-630- 590-7762

  Linda Brooks

CHICAGO (Dec. 3, 2009) — William T. Thorwarth, Jr., M.D., was named the newest member of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Board of Directors today at the Society's annual meeting in Chicago. A nationally recognized expert on radiology economics and reimbursement, Dr. Thorwarth will serve as the liaison-designate for publications and communications under Sarah S. Donaldson, M.D., until Dr. Donaldson becomes RSNA Board Chairman in 2011.

"The strength of the Board is its diversity, reflecting the diversity of the RSNA membership," Dr. Donaldson said. "Dr. Thorwarth will greatly assist RSNA in listening to our membership and integrating their thoughts and concerns, so the Board can best address and represent all members. It is a privilege for me to welcome him to the Board."

For the past 25 years, Dr. Thorwarth has practiced radiology with Catawba Radiological Associates in Hickory, N.C., where he also serves the Frye Regional Medical Center, Catawba Valley Medical Center and Caldwell Memorial Hospital.

He has been an RSNA member since his residency and is a long-time volunteer.

Dr. Thorwarth helped found the Visionaries in Practice (VIP) program for the RSNA Research & Education (R&E) Foundation and served as VIP committee chair from 2004 to 2009. He also has served on the R&E Fund Development and 25th Anniversary Campaign committees and is completing a three-year term on the R&E Board of Trustees.

"Radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related professionals are at a pivotal time in reaffirming our critical role in high-quality and cost efficient healthcare delivery," Dr. Thorwarth said. "We all need to be active, not passive, participants in crafting the future."

Dr. Thorwarth said that RSNA has been an integral part of his life for more than 25 years, and he looks forward to his new responsibilities.

"RSNA has always been a cornerstone of my radiology education and practice experience," he said.

Dr. Thorwarth received his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College and his medical degree from Dartmouth Medical School, both in Hanover, N.H. He completed an internal medicine internship and a junior resident year at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa., and his diagnostic radiology residency at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.

Dr. Thorwarth's areas of expertise include radiology coding, nomenclature and the physician reimbursement relative value scale. In 2007, he became the first radiologist to chair the American Medical Association (AMA) Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Editorial Panel and was recently appointed to a second term that ends in June 2011.

In 2004, the American College of Radiology (ACR) created the William T. Thorwarth, Jr., M.D., Award and named him as its first recipient. The award honors ACR members or personnel who show excellence in the field of economics and health policy by way of leadership, diplomacy and integrity. Dr. Thorwarth served as chair of the ACR Commission on Economics from 1999 to 2004, as ACR president from 2003 to 2004, and on more than a dozen other ACR committees at the local and national levels. He is an ACR Fellow.

Dr. Thorwarth has also received the Silver Medal Award from the North Carolina Radiological Society and honorary membership in the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).

He has been involved with a number of other radiology and medical organizations, mainly in the areas of reimbursement and economics. Dr. Thorwarth has presented dozens of lectures and authored numerous publications centering on issues of radiology economics, including a September 2009 article he co-authored in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR), "Radiology Coding, Reimbursement, and Economics: A Practical Playbook for Housestaff." Dr. Thorwarth has served on the JACR editorial board, as well as those of ACR Coding Source, AMA-ACR Clinical Examples in Radiology and AMA CPT Assistant.

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Note: Copies of RSNA 2009 news releases and electronic images are available online at RSNA.org/press09.

RSNA is an association of more than 44,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, medical physicists and related scientists committed to excellence in patient care through education and research. The Society is based in Oak Brook, Ill. (RSNA.org)