ACR Bulletin September 2018
The ACR is always looking for ways for members to become more meaningfully involved in the College.
At the fall 2017 meeting of the ACR’s BOC and CSC, volunteer and staff leadership met to revise the ACR Strategic Plan, which emphasized fostering meaningful member experiences and engagement — deemed to be among the most important goals to the current and future health of the organization. One of these is participating in the ACR RFS journal clubs, an initiative born out of the idea that residents could feel more connected within the ACR community. RFS members face the rigorous demands of training, and the journal club aims to connect them with leaders in the profession in a low-pressure way. During my tenure as chair of the ACR Commission on Economics, I worked with then RFS Chair C. Matthew Hawkins, MD, and Vice Chair Jonathan C. Flug, MD, to start an online journal club for RFS members to become involved in economics in a manner that didn’t require a great deal of time or expertise. The RFS economics journal club paved the way for residents to become more involved in the College — they chose the papers and moderated during the session. This has spawned other successful RFS journal clubs, notably the RFS AI journal club, whose January gathering was a record-breaker across all RFS journal clubs thus far. The session garnered 340 registrants, 145 attendees, and over 500 views of the video recording within seven days of being posted online — indicating that the journal clubs have democratized the RFS’s ability to contribute to the activities of the College.
News from the ACR and Beyond
Q: Why do you network?
Networking is the intentional act of building relationships beyond the close colleagues and friends we encounter on a day-to-day basis. Building a network creates a support system and a strong professional community where there is an exchange of ideas and resources. It also creates a sense of engagement, which is particularly important in a profession prone to burnout from a sense of isolation. In fact, maintaining relationships has been shown to be the most important factor contributing to overall health and happiness.
Learning Across Borders
The AIRP® rad-path course sees success in Bangkok, bringing educational content to colleagues abroad.
Since its inception, the American Institute of Radiologic Pathology (AIRP®) leadership and faculty have sought to expand the rad-path correlation course into developing countries. Moved under the ACR’s purview in 2011 to further rad-path training for residents, fellows, and practicing radiologists, the institute’s goals are going global to provide wider, easier access to radiologists around the world.
William B. Yeats, an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature, once wrote,“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that, but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing.” This concept of growth can certainly be applied to the medical profession, particularly radiology.
A Perfect Match
New data shows medical students are drawn to radiology as a specialty.
Robert H. Paley, MD, a diagnostic radiologist, demonstrates an IR procedure to Keiko Cooley, a student at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Greenville, at the AMA’s 2018 Medical Student Workshop in Washington, D.C.
Recent advances in machine learning have led to speculation in the lay press that AI might one day replace human radiologists. It’s been reported that some medical students have decided not to specialize in radiology because they fear the jobs will cease to exist. Data from the 2018 Main Residency Match, however, indicate that medical students are not deterred from pursuing radiology as a profession. U.S. diagnostic radiology programs were 100 percent filled, with no programs posting any unfilled first-year radiology residency positions.
Top of the Class
The ACR Education Center is changing the learning paradigm for radiology.
James R. Costello, MD, PhD, an ACR Education Center faculty member, discusses course material with Harpreet K. Judge, MD, during the Body and Pelvic MR class in Reston, Va.
In 2006, former ACR CEO Harvey L. Neiman, MD, FACR, and past ACR BOC Chairs James H. Thrall, MD, FACR, and Arl Van Moore Jr., MD, FACR, gathered at a leadership retreat in Asheville, N.C., and mapped out a plan to offer radiologists hands-on instruction in a realistic simulation environment. World-class radiologists in various subspecialties would train physicians in advanced medical imaging and image-guidance techniques, combining faculty lectures and one-on-one interaction with intensive self-paced case review.
This idea became what is now the ACR Education Center, which opened its doors in March 2008. Since then, nearly 12,000 physicians from 40 countries and every state in the United States have completed training at ACR’s headquarters in Reston, Va. To mark the 10th anniversary, the Bulletin asked faculty how radiologists learn best — and why the Education Center is the place for radiologists to meet their learning needs.
Preparing for Retirement
How can radiologists plan for the shift from full-time employment to a post-practice lifestyle?
Successfully planning for retirement includes being psychologically ready to let go of one’s full-time work routine while creating a meaningful and enjoyable new lifestyle. Most radiologists hold demanding positions consisting of intellectual stimulation through scientific and technological advancements paired with emotionally rewarding interactions with patients and colleagues. This translates into a radiologist’s identity being tightly connected with his or her status as a working physician. So how can radiologists successfully move from full-time work to retirement?
A Doctor’s Realization
A radiologist recounts her journey as a patient undergoing treatment for a brain tumor — and its impact on her work as a physician.
A popular word these days is resilience. For me, it is about finding the good in what you are left with after encountering a seemingly insurmountable challenge.
Our Continued Commitment to Fee-for-Service
Volume-based payment remains important to radiology's growth,
and the ACR is committed to protecting it.
I became chair of the ACR Commission on Economics in 2016. At that time, my first ACR Bulletin column described several guiding principles for the commission, one of which was protecting our place in fee-for-service (FFS) payment systems. Since then, most of my columns have centered on value-based payment systems.1 My focus on new payment models makes sense, because the rules and regulations associated with the MACRA-created Quality Payment Program are evolving quickly. We will be affected. But I would not want there to be the impression that our commitment to protecting legacy payment systems has lessened during that time. As I have stated before, FFS payment systems will remain a significant contributor to our revenue and will form the basis for new payment models for the foreseeable future. As such, our commitment is as strong as ever.
Radiation oncologists and neuroradiologists collaborate on personalized videos about cancer patients’ specific symptoms and treatment plans to help relieve anxiety.
Sam Taylor, CEO of Oriental Trading Company in Omaha, Neb., experienced blind spots in his vision during a family vacation in Mexico in October of 2016. Upon his return, a visit to the eye doctor yielded no explanation. However, a subsequent MRI showed a mass of the worst kind: grade IV glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). “They told me I had 15 months to live,” Taylor recalls. “I felt like I got kicked in the gut.”
An Eye on Workgroups
The CSC revamps its structure to keep the council effective and nimble.
The 2018–2019 CSC continues to experiment with the reorganization of its traditional workgroup structure. Historically, four workgroups were each assigned one major task to accomplish for the benefit of the council. Last year, the CSC cut that number to three, created co-chairs to head the workgroups, and doubled the assigned tasks for the year. However, one of the lessons we’ve learned is that unanticipated issues crop up that need attention. These unplanned needs don’t necessarily fit neatly into the workgroups constituted at the beginning of the year, but effectively responding is integral to the CSC’s mission.