The ACR is always looking for ways for members to become more meaningfully involved in the College.
At the fall 2017 meeting of the ACR’s BOC and CSC, volunteer and staff leadership met to revise the ACR Strategic Plan, which emphasized fostering meaningful member experiences and engagement — deemed to be among the most important goals to the current and future health of the organization. One of these is participating in the ACR RFS journal clubs, an initiative born out of the idea that residents could feel more connected within the ACR community. RFS members face the rigorous demands of training, and the journal club aims to connect them with leaders in the profession in a low-pressure way. During my tenure as chair of the ACR Commission on Economics, I worked with then RFS Chair C. Matthew Hawkins, MD, and Vice Chair Jonathan C. Flug, MD, to start an online journal club for RFS members to become involved in economics in a manner that didn’t require a great deal of time or expertise. The RFS economics journal club paved the way for residents to become more involved in the College — they chose the papers and moderated during the session. This has spawned other successful RFS journal clubs, notably the RFS AI journal club, whose January gathering was a record-breaker across all RFS journal clubs thus far. The session garnered 340 registrants, 145 attendees, and over 500 views of the video recording within seven days of being posted online — indicating that the journal clubs have democratized the RFS’s ability to contribute to the activities of the College.
(Left to right) Diane M. Icenogle-Leuschen, MD, FACR, Melissa M. Chen, MD, and Darlene F. Metter, MD, FACR, participate in the Council Meeting at ACR 2018.
We also recognize the need to amplify the voice of young and early-career professionals within the ACR. Professionals under the age of 40 or within the first eight years of entering practice find themselves at a pivotal time in their careers — they may be adjusting to practicing independently, planning a move, having a young family, or thinking about tackling student debt. To make sure the ACR was attuned to the priorities of this demographic, we identified a need for them to have representation at the highest levels of the organization, which is why we now have an elected YPS seat on the BOC.
Finally, there’s the ACR Annual Meeting (the biggest forum for engagement in the College) and its return to its original focus on the governance activities of the organization. It is enshrined in our organizational underpinnings that our council sets policy, and the ACR wanted to make sure that the experience of being a councilor was important and meaningful.
Looking forward, I will be focusing more on how we can continue to evolve opportunities for meaningful member participation in the College’s activities. At the fall 2018 meeting of the BOC and CSC, I will draw attention to this idea of involvement and engagement. How do we continue to update the ways in which we’re able to participate to best serve our mission and our patients?
By Geraldine B. McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, Chair.