American Alliance of Academic Chief Residents in Radiology (A3CR2):

What Does This Mean to You?

 A3 Exec Com

Members of the A3CR2 Executive Committee gather at the AUR 2017 annual meeting in Hollywood,Fla. Pictured from left to right are Daniella Asch, MD (Secretary); Daniel Ortiz, MD (President); Dexter Mendoza, MD (Vice President); William Sherk, MD (Treasurer).

So you have been bestowed one of the greatest honors you can get as a resident; you are now a chief resident. Surprisingly, this is faced by many with mixed emotions of excitement, honor, anxiety, and isolation. A popular stated quote is “It’s lonely at the top.” However, you don’t have to be alone.

There is a nationwide community of chief residents through the Association of University Radiologists called the American Alliance of Academic Chief Residents in Radiology, fondly known as A3.

The mission of A3 “is to develop leadership skills in chief residents, to foster the collaboration of chief residents with each other and with the leaders of academic radiology, and to advance the interests of radiology residents in the affairs of organized medicine.” In practical terms, there is exclusive content at the Association of University Radiologists (AUR) annual meeting for A3 members in closed sessions tailored to meet this mission. As A3 executive committee members, we are also in preliminary talks to build out a private forum for chief residents to discuss issues and share ideas, which would be available throughout the year.

The 2018 AUR annual meeting will be held at the Omni Resort at ChampionsGate in Orlando, Fla., from May 7–10. The theme this year is Radiology Health and Wellbeing of the Professional and the Profession. The preliminary A3 programming has some very interesting components including: the psychology of leadership, effective teaching methods, social media, mentorship, and interviewing. Other content will be available in education, research, administration, and leadership tracks. Of particular interest is a combined session with the Society of Chairs in Academic Radiology Departments that will delve into the topic of nature versus nurture as it relates to leadership.

Two of my personal favorite components of the A3 specific programming content are the ideas and problem-solving forums. These sessions get down to granular detail to provide real-world practical solutions to many of the issues we face as chief residents.

Many residency programs select their rising chief residents during the end of the second year or during the third year. Although, this makes sense from a programming standpoint, it also leads to an unintended dilemma. Most of these rising chiefs only will have enough time to prepare for the American Board of Radiology (ABR) Core exam. If you are able to attend the AUR annual meeting, however, you will be able to participate in a 12-part board review, which encompasses every section of the ABR exam, including physics. These sessions are intermixed throughout the week, and are a bonus to attending the meeting. 

One of the most fruitful offerings at the AUR 2018 meeting is the plethora of networking opportunities, both formal and informal. AUR offers a one-on-one mentoring session with one of the nation’s radiology leaders specializing in your intended field. There are also many mixers that allow casual meetings with everyone from fellow residents to chairs of departments.

Chief residents: there are too many valuable A3 offerings to pass up. Join today. Other residents: Encourage your chiefs to join and attend. The meeting is filled with plenty of practical solutions to many issues that may come up at your program.

DanielOrtizHeadShotBy Daniel Ortiz, MD, A3CR2 President, ACR-RFS Vice-Chair and Eastern Virginia Medical School Diagnostic Radiology Chief Resident, Norfolk

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