Why I Got Involved
Organized radiology runs on the efforts of vibrant and diverse volunteers. What are you waiting for?
It would never have occurred to me to run for an ACR position. I found myself running for vice speaker of the ACR Council only at the urging of several former speakers, who encouraged me to try for the position and see the difference I could make as a leader in the ACR.
Maybe you can relate. Many of us needed some urging to put ourselves out there and apply for these positions. But I can confirm that any uneasiness you experience is worth pushing through. Serving as a leader in the ACR has led to some of the most meaningful experiences and relationships in my career.
I have invited two members of the Council Steering Committee (CSC) to share their experiences as leaders in the College. Their examples inspire me — and I hope they will inspire you to respond to the Call for Nominations from our College Nominating Committee and apply for this year’s open positions.
Catherine J. Everett, MD, MBA, FACR
After I finished training, life was busy, with career and family leaving little time for anything else, including the ACR. While I was always a member of the College, about 10 years ago I began actively participating again. I wanted to do for other radiologists what my colleagues had done for me and the specialty I love.
I first volunteered as newsletter editor for my state chapter. From there, I led the Practice Leaders Network, an online effort to connect practice leaders throughout North Carolina. I served a short time as councilor and then progressed through the steps to be chapter president in 2013–14. I am currently serving another term as a councilor.
Two years ago, Kimberley Applegate, MD, MS, FACR, asked if I would consider serving on the CSC, which represents the council when not in session. I was flabbergasted. Me? I barely spoke at the first few meetings, but then I realized I brought a different perspective from others at the table. I became very interested in finding ways to involve the radiologists who don’t make their voices heard, and I experimented with member surveys to hear from more of our membership. That individual effort as a CSC member led to our collective decision to focus the ACR 2016 open mic session on membership value to learn more about what our members think. I found this work so rewarding that I ran for a position on the CSC again this year to continue what we’d started.
In my experience, participation in organized medicine can be fluid. We all have periods in our lives when we cannot give up time to volunteer. And that is okay. But when and if you decide to participate, you are welcomed and there is plenty of work to do. Volunteering with the ACR has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. Everyone makes different contributions: some are writers, some are talkers, some are thinkers, and some (like me) just want to push up their sleeves and work.
Joseph G. Cernigliaro, MD, FACR
I attended my first Florida Radiological Society meeting in 1995 and my first ACR annual meeting in 2001. I was hooked from my first experience with organized radiology. Radiologists are a friendly group. That great experience has kept me coming back year after year.
When I finished training and entered practice, I was surprised at how much politics affect the practice of medicine. I learned a lot about medicine and research during medical school and residency, but I was not exposed to the political and economic side of medicine. By getting involved with the ACR and my state chapter, I learned to navigate the complexities of our health system and advocate for our specialty and our patients.
Over the years, I have held pretty much every position in our state chapter: program director for the annual meeting, alternate councilor, councilor, secretary, treasurer, president-elect, president, and past president. I have served many years on the board of our state chapter and now also serve on the Florida Radiological Society Foundation Board, in addition to several committees.
As a councilor, the willingness to listen and learn from those around you is a key trait. We have many extremely bright people in our organization who can help to make you a better radiologist, leader, educator, and innovator.
Based upon my involvement with my state chapter, a few of my colleagues independently encouraged me to run for the CSC. I decided to run, hoping to take the next step in serving the profession that has been very good to me. I am honored to have won election and reelection to the CSC, where I have served for the last three years.
Start Your Nomination Today
The call for nominations has been released by our College Nominating Committee! Visit bit.ly/2016ACRNoms to apply for a position in the College or encourage your colleagues to submit their applications. The nominations deadline is Dec. 15.
By William T. Herrington, MD, FACR, Speaker