Looking Back: Great to Greater?

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” — Nelson Mandelalooking back

In May of 2012, my first Chair Column appeared in the ACR Bulletin. I wrote about the ACR as a battleship — defending our pillars, fighting for the rights of our members, and always keeping in mind the best interests of our patients. Now the time is at hand to write my final column as chair.

 I cannot count how many times I have been asked, “How do you like being chair?” or “How do you have time to do it?” I must tell you that I have always answered in the same way — this is the best “job” I have ever had. Working with the BOC, CSC, and ACR staff is fabulous. Meeting other radiologists and other physicians, physicists, and other health care providers from all over the U.S. and around the world has been terrific. Representing the ACR at state chapter and other meetings, interacting with other society officers, meeting members of state and federal government, and travelling have all been exhilarating. It is truly like the proverbial drink from a fire hose. The ACR is so complex and far reaching it is mind boggling. I like to say that I work for my practice three days a week and I work for the ACR eight days a week.

I have really enjoyed this opportunity and challenge to serve as the chair. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I wish all of you could have the same opportunity someday.

What is most gratifying, however, is not listed above. Rather, I am most proud of all the advances and new initiatives that together we have implemented during my tenure. I must emphasize that I personally had only a small part to play in most of these innovations — mostly it was other members of the BOC, CSC, and staff that came to me with ideas. I was fortunate to be in a position that allowed me to help implement and advance these suggestions.

Jim Collins, in Good to Great, wisely states that “good is the enemy of great.” He goes on to say that “greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.” So please indulge me briefly while I look back and recall much of what has happened at the ACR over the past two years, excluding the regular business of the College, such as AMCLC, the ACR-RBMA Forum, the Practice Leaders Meeting, and the Intersociety Commission. In my opinion, the ACR has indeed progressed from great to greater.

In 2012, the following occurred:

• June: The Imaging Communication Network was founded and deployed.

• July: The Radiology Leadership Institute® was launched with its Inaugural Event at the Kellogg School of Management.

• July: A partnership was created with National Decision Support Company to take ACR Appropriateness Criteria® to EMR vendors as ACR Select™.

• August: The Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute was launched.

• Summer: The American Association for Women Radiologists proposed the ACR Commission for Women and General Diversity.

• September: ACR leaders and selected staff met with corporate representatives for the first time in 10 years.

Other notable events from 2012 include the remodel of the ACR headquarters building at 1891 Preston White Drive in Reston, Va., resulting in enhanced space and work environment for ACR employees and the building’s LEED certification; the purchase of 1892 Preston White Drive, the home of the ACR Education Center; and the kickoff of planning ACR 2015: A Meeting for All Members.

In 2013, the following occurred:

• January: The ACR and the Intersociety Committee launched RadiologyCentral.org to set up a universal calendar for radiology events.

• March: The ACR participated in Radiology Education Days in Haiti, which was attended by more than 100 Haitian physicians.

• April: The Task Force for Clinical Practice of Interventional Radiology and Interventional Neuroradiology was created.

• May: The Task Force on Teleradiology issued a report; the first semiannual Global Summit on Radiology Quality and Safety was held; the review, restructuring, and revision of the ACR Bylaws was completed.

In 2013, we also launched Imaging 3.0™, a toolkit for change; celebrated the JACR®’s 10th anniversary; and established the ACR Head Injury Institute. And last but not least, a search committee was successful in identifying the next chief executive officer for the College. William T. Thorwarth Jr., MD, FACR, will follow longstanding luminary Harvey L. Neiman, MD, FACR, as our next CEO. In 2014, the BI-RADS® 5th edition was published.

When I first ran for election to the CSC in 1998, in my two-minute speech, I pledged to give my time, my energy, and my enthusiasm to the College. I reaffirm that commitment today. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have preceded me, covered my back, and been by my side on this journey. This includes all of the members of the BOC, the CSC, ACR staff, and the more than 1,400 member and non-member volunteers like you.


article 1 headshotBy Paul H. Ellenbogen, MD, FACR, Chair

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