Putting Learning Into Practice
Radiologists use knowledge from ACR Education Center courses to improve patient care.
When Daniel J. Durand, MD, chair of radiology at LifeBridge Health in Baltimore, enrolled in the coronary CTA course at the ACR Education Center, he didn’t realize how quickly he would translate what he had learned into practice and impact patient management.
“I was back at my practice after the course and I was reviewing this cardiac case when I caught sight of this lesion,” says Durand. “I was working with a cardiac imager at the time who missed it. I knew to always look specifically for lesions in the distal right coronary artery after being constantly reminded by the faculty during my training at the Education Center. It’s a commonly missed lesion — and I happened to see it. I knew it was significant for the management of the patient.”
According to Durand, the lesion was later confirmed on a cardiac catheterization and the patient had a stent implanted. He credits reviewing nearly 100 coronary CTA cases during his ACR Education Center experience to his discovery. “The course made me a better radiologist,” he says.
Michael T. Fisher, MD, a diagnostic radiologist at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center in Boise, Idaho, agrees with Durand. Fisher, a pediatric radiologist, enrolled in the body and pelvic MR course to gain more confidence and enhance his skillset as a body imager.
“After I returned from the course, I was reviewing this case where there was an enhanced mass on the patient’s liver,” says Fisher. “I knew immediately that it was a focal nodular hyperplasia and it didn’t need to be biopsied. Before I took the course, I would have probably recommended the mass be biopsied, which would have caused that patient undue stress, not to mention time and money.”
Fisher notes that insight gained during the Body and Pelvic MR course gave him an extra level of confidence to make a more granular diagnosis. He credits the ACR Education Center course with the enhanced trust referring physicians now have in his skill and expertise.
Durand and Fisher are just two of over 12,000 physicians who have attended courses since the ACR Education Center opened its doors at ACR’s headquarters in Reston, Va., in 2008.
“Whether learning a new modality or refreshing one that you practice routinely, the exposure to world-class faculty, an unparalleled data repository, and the integrated experience provided by the ACR Case Engine, there is no better clinical education training,” says Vinay Sandhir, director of the ACR Education Center.
Arun George, MD, a consultant radiologist at the Capital and Coast District Health Board in Wellington, New Zealand, agrees with Sandhir. George, who enrolled in the first course after his fellowship, books ACR Education Center courses in his subspecialty every four years, flying half way around the world to attend.
“The courses are led by radiologists who are extremely knowledgeable,” says George. “They start with basic concepts and build upon these quite quickly. They’re pretty intense, but definitely worth every second of my travel time from New Zealand.”
George believes his experience at the Education Center have helped him improve the quality of patient care at his own practice. He notes that his knowledge about the standardization of body imaging protocols to reduce scan times is high on his list of practice- changing information that has helped his patients.
Sandhir believes that with a variety of courses tailored for radiologists across the specialty, Education Center attendees like Durand, Fisher, and George can confidently return to their practices with new tools and skills to advance the care of their patients. “In short,” says Sandhir, echoing Durand’s sentiment, “they will leave as better radiologists.”
The Education Center (acr.org/EdCenter) offers the following courses:
Body and Pelvic MR
Breast Imaging With Tomosynthesis
High Resolution CT
MSK MR of Large Joints
MSK MR of Small Joints and Specialized Topics
Neuroradiology of the Head and Neck
Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement
To learn more about the ACR Education Center’s beginnings, read the November 2017 ACR Bulletin article, “From Vision to Reality,” at bit.ly/EdCenterat10.
By Lori Burkart, JD, freelance writer, ACR Press