The Art of Communication

The CSC continues to solicit ideas from the membership to help guide the College into the future.

As part of its strategic plan, the ACR remains committed to empowering and engaging our members. Frequent and meaningful communication with our members is critical to the success of those goals. The CSC represents the Council and the Council represents the membership. The Council is comprised of representatives from ACR chapters and specialty societies, who in turn represent our members. The CSC is strongly committed to communication. Each member of the CSC serves as a liaison to several ACR chapters and other radiology organizations. Each CSC member is expected to reach out to those groups on a regular basis to update them on high-priority activities of the ACR, as well as to solicit comments and questions. Through the Chapter Visitation Program, members of the CSC and the BOC regularly visit chapter meetings to update members on important activities and further facilitate that dialogue. And the online member forum — ACR Engage — has generated considerable discussion amongst members and ACR leaders about important issues facing the specialty.

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Despite the work and resources committed to such efforts, as your Council leaders we recognize that we can still do better. Membership engagement was the focus of the open-mic session at ACR 2018, and we heard you loud and clear. You want not only more communication, but better communication. And as your Council leadership, we are taking that feedback seriously. We have appointed a workgroup to carefully review and summarize each and every comment from that meeting. That workgroup will be presenting its report to the entire CSC, which will soon be making recommendations for action. We plan to share that summary and recommendation document with Council members and solicit your feedback. Preliminary recommendations include increased use of the Engage platform, expanding our ongoing and one-on-one communication with chapter leaders through their liaisons, and hosting virtual town hall meetings as needed.

Even with the many digital and virtual tools we have at our disposal, there is no substitute for real human interaction. As such, our annual meeting remains the nexus of our leadership’s communication to and with our members. Those several days we spend together each spring in Washington, D.C., help us create and build relationships and engage in discourse and debate over the issues that are most important to our members. The result — ACR policy — guides the activities of the organization for years to come.

Our annual meeting has gone through — and continues to undergo — an evolutionary process. After experimenting with an all-member educational meeting tied to the annual governance meeting, we understood from interaction with you that our Council and chapter leaders want a more governance-focused meeting, and we have listened and acted. ACR 2019 will again focus on governance (as we did last year), with a format similar to that of the old Annual Meeting and Chapter Leadership Conference. We will continue redesigning the meeting based on your feedback, including some educational programming that will not conflict with mission-critical policy-making.

To that end, we have made an effort to not only incorporate CME credit into as many of our traditional meeting sessions as possible (e.g., the Economics Forum), but will also add pre-meeting CME sessions on Saturday. The ACR 2019 keynote address will be delivered by Liselotte N. Dyrbye, MD, whose research focuses on the well-being of medical students, residents, and physicians. Dyrbye’s address will discuss burnout in radiology and will provide proactive action steps to prevent burnout. The annual Moreton Lecture, which will be delivered by Ben Harder, managing editor and chief of health analysis for U.S. News and World Report, will focus on the increasingly important topic of physician rating and ranking systems.

The CSC remains actively engaged in its annual review of policies, technical standards, and practice parameters, which will also be considered by the Council in May. Members of the CSC continue to communicate with and solicit ideas and suggestions from chapter leaders and the membership to help guide the College into the future.

Perhaps in part related to nostalgia, we continue to receive many requests to return to the Washington Hilton, but for the next several years, we will continue to meet at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park. Modifying our current multi-year contract and returning to the Hilton would result in considerable additional expenses to the ACR, and your leadership is exercising its financial stewardship obligations. ACR staff is actively exploring alternative hotel venues for future years.

Your Council leadership strives to communicate with you, but we ask that you initiate communication with us as well. Please let us know what we can do differently and what we can do better — talk to us directly, or talk to your CSC liaison through your chapter or society leaders. Communication is a two-way street and there are always opportunities to improve.


 By Timothy L. Swan, MD, FACR, Speaker, and Richard Duszak Jr., MD, FACR, Vice Speaker

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