HOUSTON (KIAH) — Hundreds of medical imaging technology students from Greater Houston attended the 2023 Houston Area Radiologic Consortium (HARC) on July 21 for a day of academic enrichment and professional networking.

Houston Community College, San Jacinto College, Lone Star College, Galveston College, and MD Anderson Cancer Center all participated in this intercollegiate event held at HCC Coleman College for Health Sciences in the Texas Medical Center.

At HARC, students engaged in breakout sessions taught by imaging professors from the participating colleges. The sessions covered a wide range of imaging modalities, including X-ray, mammography, computed tomography (CT), sonography, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Between sessions, students were also able to meet with human resource representatives from several healthcare systems, including Memorial Hermann Health System, HCA Healthcare, Texas Children’s Hospital, CHI St. Luke’s Health, and Baylor Scott and White Health.

According to Elizabeth Ho, DHSc, ARDMS, diagnostic medical sonography program director at HCC Coleman College and HARC coordinator, the consortium began in 2016 with the common goal to expand the knowledge and opportunities of imaging technology students.  

“The wonderful thing about HARC is that students are also learning from professors from other colleges. It gives the students more insight and even allows the professors to learn from each other,” Ho said. “The students also meet recruiters from hospitals and other students who may be their coworkers one day.”

Medical imaging continues to become increasingly important for doctors to diagnose and treat diseases, so the job and earning potential for imaging technologists is strong.

“Perhaps the best part of this field is that general radiologic technologists can make a good starting salary,” Ho said. “Then they can expand their knowledge and certifications and specialize into different branches, like sonography, CT, or nuclear medicine. There’s a lot of opportunity for growth, especially as technology continues to evolve.”

Melva Marshall, a radiography student at San Jacinto College, believes the event will help her career.   

“I’m learning about different jobs and modalities in the field, as well as discovering various cancer treatment options,” Marshall said.