ASHNR Member Spotlight Questionnaire
Name & Credentials (MD, DO, MBBS, etc.): Ilona Schmalfuss, MD
Professional Title(s): Professor of Radiology
Institution or Practice: North Florida / South Georgia Veterans Administration and University of Florida
Where did you complete the following?:
Undergraduate: Gustav-Heinemann Gesamtschule, Mülheim, Germany
Medical School: University of Essen, Germany
Radiology Residency: University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Fellowship(s): University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
# Years in Practice: 20 # Years as ASHNR member: 21
Primary research, clinical, or educational interest(s): Perineural tumor spread
What do you look forward to most about the ASHNR Annual Meeting? Reconnecting with my ASHNR friends and having fun
Do you have a particular ASHNR member or mentor that you admire (and why)? There are many ASHNR members that I admire which each of them shaping my carrier to different degrees:
1. Dr. Suresh Mukherji for teaching me how to put posters together when I was a resident – at that time we were printing pictures and pasting them on a card board. What a steep learning curve this was!
2. Dr. Doug Phillips for encouraging me to present at various conferences – I always loved Doug’s support and advice!
3. Dr. Laurie Loevner for getting me involved as a speaker at the ASHNR conference in New Orleans in 2009 – this was the initial entry for me to become ASHNR faculty.
4. Dr. Hugh Curtin for comforting me before my talk in San Diego in 2011 – I was following him and of course I was very, very nervous… He is the nicest person on Earth!
5. Drs. Debbie Shatzkes and Michelle Michel for having patience with me while completing major revisions to the ASHNR bylaws in 2013.
6. Dr. Nancy Fischbein for listening and providing advice during our walks at each meeting we both attend – she is amazing and we have become very close friends despite the distance. When you see me walking in Gainesville on my phone on the weekend, it is very likely that I am on a virtual walk with Nancy.
7. Dr. Claudia Kirsch – she bailed me out so many times out of challenging situations including for the 2020 ASHNR virtual meeting. She is a go getter and I cannot thank her enough for all she does!
I feel that this is the strength of the ASHNR society that so many different members empower you to be better and to become your friends!
What is your favorite (anatomic) part of the head & neck? Orbit and skull base
What was your childhood dream job? Being a chef
What is one thing people might be surprised to know about you? I love party planning. In fact, my girls (now 20 and 18 years of age) still talk about their creative and usual birthday parties. Too bad that we cannot have an in-person ASHNR meeting this year. I was hoping to have an international gala as the final event to celebrate the diversity of the ASHNR society and to include international foods and drinks. Well, maybe we can consider it at another meeting in the future.