A Meeting for all Members
The 2015 ACR annual meeting will be designed to attract all members. But why are we making a change?
In May of 2015, ACR members attending the AMCLC will engage in a new experience unlike any prior ACR annual meeting — the new conference will include clinical and scientific content. Those who have attended and enjoyed the past meetings may wonder why the ACR leadership has chosen to undertake this adjustment. Let me explain.
One major reason for the change is that very few ACR members currently attend the annual meeting — including approximately 400 councilors and alternate councilors, about 250 residents and fellows, and the new ACR fellows, gold medalists, honorary fellows, and members of the Board of Chancellors (BOC) and Council Steering Committee (CSC). These individuals, their guests, and the ACR staff total about 1,000 individuals, yet ACR membership is more than 36,000. Despite ACR's publishing and membership outlets, such as the ACR Bulletin, www.acr.org, and numerous e-mails and letters, the general membership and radiology professional community simply do not know much about what ACR is doing. The ACR leadership believes that the accomplishments, excitement, energy, enthusiasm, and valuable practice-related information conveyed at the AMCLC events, including the BOC and CSC meetings, are not getting back to the majority of ACR members.
Although many members of the College don't know it, currently any member can attend the AMCLC and is encouraged to do so. Our goal for the future is to encourage participation of 3,000 to 5,000 people and we are working on establishing the meeting space to allow the growth of the meeting to include new content and attendees. The current format and location of the AMCLC has served the College well over the past decade, with only minor variations in programming. Furthermore, surveys of attendees have been predominantly favorable.
To motivate the additional attendees, we will offer a variety of CME activities, many of which will be centered on the ACR and its educational programs. We will showcase highlights from the ACR Education Center, the American Institute for Radiologic Pathology (AIRP), and the Radiology Leadership Institute. We expect to bring some of the technological firepower exhibited by the case-engine material at the ACR Education Center to the AMCLC. We are working with ACR Education Center vendors to provide cutting-edge workstations for attendees to sample throughout the AMCLC. Likewise, selected members of the AIRP faculty will be invited to bring their unique presentations to the meeting. Also, highlights from the business curriculum of the Radiology Leadership Institute will be offered.
To motivate the additional attendees, we will offer a variety of CME activities, many of which will be centered on the ACR and its educational programs.
The program will feature plenary and breakout sessions, allowing for up to eight concurrent courses. We will also provide three high-profile keynote speakers and fill an exhibit hall with as many as 100 vendors. In addition, such societies as the American Association for Women Radiologists, Society of Breast Imaging, and the Society for Radiologists in Ultrasound will be on hand to showcase their activities and specialized content.
For those who are comfortable with and perhaps even fond of the traditional program and format, let me assure you that everything you love about the current AMCLC program will be preserved and remain free to our volunteer councilors and alternates.
The annual advocacy efforts and visit to Capitol Hill will continue to be an integral part of the meeting. By expanding the meeting with clinical content, we hope to grow grassroots participation so that 1,000 or more attendees will visit their legislators on Capitol Hill. Also, the popular RADPAC reception and dinner will occur as part of the expanded program.
A program committee comprising members of the CSC, BOC, and ACR Residents and Fellows Section is hard at work designing the new program. The new meeting will begin on a Saturday and conclude midday on the following Friday. We anticipate that the new AMCLC all-member meeting will be a very important event for all radiologists each spring. Stay tuned for more information about the ACR 2015 meeting on www.acr.org, as well as the ACR Bulletin.
By Paul H. Ellenbogen, MD, FACR, Chair