Shattering the Glass Ceiling

Female radiologists break new ground at the annual meeting.

glass ceiling 1Geraldine B. McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, receives the 2018 William T. Thorwarth, Jr., MD, Award.

ACR 2018 brought forth several historic moments for the radiology specialty, and specifically for women.

Geraldine B. McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, was elected the first woman chair of the BOC in the nearly 100-year history of the College. McGinty, a practicing radiologist, also received the 2018 William T. Thorwarth, Jr., MD, Award at ACR 2018 for her contributions to the field of health policy and economics for radiology.

“Dr. McGinty has been a trailblazer for women in radiology, and she is committed to empowering other women to follow in her footsteps,” said Katarzyna J. Macura, MD, PhD, FACR, chair of the ACR Commission for Women and Diversity, during the ACR 2018 Diversity Forum, titled “Women in Radiology — Why Men Should Care.” “This victory for her is really a victory for all of us,” said Macura.

The ACR 2018 Diversity Forum featured a panel of male academic and private practice radiology leaders, who provided insight on how they could mentor, support, and advance women radiologists at all career levels to achieve gender parity. During the session, attendees renewed their commitment to the following:

• Encouraging colleagues to speak up, speak out, and share best practices
• Requiring search committees to consider every aspect of diversity when making hiring decisions
• Ensuring that panels at meetings and conferences are made up of at least 50 percent women
• Working with medical schools to increase recruitment and retention of women
• Supporting women with parental leave, lactation rooms, and flexible work arrangements

The 2018 meeting featured a second year of speed mentoring, a concept introduced by the American Association for Women Radiologists (AAWR). The session afforded participants the opportunity to meet a variety of leaders in the field, who discussed leadership development, contract negotiations, work-life balance, grant writing, and quality improvement activities. 

“We’ve expanded the speed mentoring session to make it open to male and female participants,” said Amy K. Patel, MD, a breast radiologist in Kansas City, Mo. “When you look at the make-up of the session, it’s an incredibly diverse crowd, not just in terms of gender.” Kristina E. Hoque, MS, MD, PhD, a neuroradiologist and nuclear medicine physician, who co-hosted the session with Patel, agreed. “I think the really special thing about the speed mentoring session is that it was born from diversity and its heart lies in diversity. It came out of the AAWR with improving diversity as its core mission, and I think that that mission has really held true,” said Hoque.

Also at ACR 2018, Ruth C. Carlos, MD, MS, FACR, was named the first female editor-in-chief of the JACR®, beginning in January 2019. Carlos, who previously served as deputy editor of the JACR and brings more than two decades of radiology and medical journalism experience to this role, succeeds Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR, founding editor of the journal.

While Macura noted that McGinty’s and Carlos’ achievements are encouraging and empowering, she emphasized that work still needs to be done. “According to our 2018 Workforce Survey, we’ve doubled the number of female radiologists in the past 25 years,” said Macura. “Yet, only 25 percent of all radiologists are female. It’s encouraging that this number rises to 36 percent in radiologists under 35, pointing to a trend of more female radiologists in the future. As a specialty, let’s make sure we’re ready for them.”


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