Recognizing the Gold in Our Midstrecognize the gold

Professional careers are defined by myriad events and experiences that occur over a course of time that spans generations. Average practitioners of family medicine often care for the grandchildren of the patients who entered their offices at the outset of their careers.

Few radiologists have that experience; however, they are equally rewarded by the technological "generations" they encounter during their careers. The rewards of a long career in medicine are almost universally appreciated by physicians, but a special few experience a much greater reward.

Over the course of history, the percentage of women in leadership roles and those who have received high honors in radiology has been increasing.

That reward is the personal satisfaction that comes from dedicating a career not only to the care of patients, but also to the service of fellow physicians and the medical community at large. To honor such individuals in radiology, the College has reserved its highest award, the Gold Medal, for no more than three outstanding radiologists each year. Over multiple decades and generations, recipients of this award have shared the common attributes of distinguished and extraordinary service to the ACR or the discipline of radiology. On page 8, you will learn of the tremendous contributions to our specialty from the 2011 Gold Medalists: Lawrence W. Bassett, M.D., FACR; Leonard Berlin, M.D., FACR, and Arl Van Moore, M.D., FACR.

There are no women among this year's recipients, but that fact does not reflect their current role in the specialty of radiology. Nor does the fact that since the ACR Gold Medal was established in 1927, there have been only six women who have received this great honor: Marie S. Curie; Alice Ettinger, M.D.; Rosalyn S. Yallow, Ph.D.; Kay H. Vydareny, M.D., FACR; Sarah S. Donaldson, M.D., FACR; and Valerie P. Jackson, M.D., FACR.

In 2012, the percentage of women on the Board of Chancellors could rise to 33 percent.

Over the course of history, the percentage of women in leadership roles and those who have received high honors in radiology has been increasing. In the past 10 years, three women have served as ACR presidents, and three have received ACR Gold Medals. In 2009, the ACR Board of Chancellors (BOC) was comprised of 23 percent women. Despite the fact that only 18 percent of practicing radiologists are women, in 2012, the percentage of women on the BOC could rise to 33 percent. As women participate in greater numbers and increasingly achieve recognition as valued leaders in radiology, it is difficult to understand why the lower ratio of total women radiologists have remained steady over the past 20 years. This topic is explored in greater detail on page 15 of this issue.

The American Association for Women Radiologists (AAWR) was established in 1981 to provide a forum for issues unique to women in radiology, radiation oncology, and related professions. Its vision is to assist women in the radiological community to achieve a personal professional fulfillment through equal recognition and opportunities. The College recognized the importance of the AAWR in 1986 and established an AAWR position on the ACR Council, providing a method for the voice of women radiologists to be heard within radiology's premier advocacy professional organization.

I am pleased to announce that in 2011, the AAWR will have an enhanced and more central role with the College. Through a joint leadership commitment to increase collaboration, the ACR and AAWR will address important women's issues in radiology in three specific areas.

As the ACR Radiology Leadership Institute is developed, the AAWR will have a major participatory role in creation of curriculum and content, and will determine faculty to address the important issues concerning women in leadership roles. These will be vital components of the institute, as it will serve to educate all leaders, regardless of gender. The ACR Commission on Education is currently undergoing a reorganization process, and the AAWR will collaborate with us to establish a specific education committee that will provide products that increase all radiologists' awareness of the importance of women in radiology. Likewise, the Commission on Human Resources will work closely with the AAWR to address women's workforce issues in radiology.

Through such important collaboration, our specialty will be enhanced, its horizons will be expanded, and newly discovered leadership talent will advance us with a perspective that is essential to success in the 21st century.

BOC headshotBy John A. Patti, M.D., FACR
Chair, Board of Chancellors

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