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Meet the 2017 Valerie P. Jackson (VPJ) Education Fellowship Recipients

This year’s VPJ fellows share what they learned about the operations of the ACR Education Department

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The Valerie P. Jackson Education Fellowship provides the opportunity for radiologists to gain direct exposure to the operations of the ACR Education Department. 



Valerie P. Jackson, MD, is chair of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) Board of Directors. An expert in the field of breast imaging, Dr. Jackson is the executive director of the ABR, a position she has held since 2014. Dr. Jackson received her medical degree in 1978 from the Indiana University School of Medicine, and completed her residency at the Indiana University Medical Center in 1982. As chair of the RSNA Board, Dr. Jackson is committed to helping the Society capitalize on education and research opportunities. 




preethiLeft: Preethi Raghu, MD is a Post-Graduate Year (PGY) 4 resident at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Wash. She will be pursuing a body imaging fellowship at Stanford. Connect with her on Twitter @PreethiRaghuMD.



Right: Shanna Matalon is a PGY6 fellow in abdominal imaging and intervention at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass. She completed her residency at BWH, where she was chief resident. She will be staying on at BWH as an attending in the abdominal division next year. 



Why did you choose to pursue the VJF?

Raghu: I have always had a keen interest in medical student and resident education but I was not sure how to translate my passion into a meaningful project for radiology residents. My program director is a former Valerie P. Jackson Education Fellow, and she spoke highly of the exposure she gained at ACR headquarters and how it served as a key stepping stone for her own path in radiology education.

Matalon: During my fourth year of residency, I was fortunate enough to dedicate eight weeks of elective time to create and pilot a radiology clinician educator track. As I became more involved in local educational pursuits, I realized my experience would be significantly enriched by learning more about our radiology governing bodies, specifically the ACR to gain a better understanding of how the ACR creates curricula to positively impact the radiology community.

What did you learn while you were there? How will the fellowship affect your future career?

Raghu: I was incredibly impressed by the breadth and depth of the ACR’s involvement in our field. I became aware of their staggering array of resources, many of which are targeted toward resident education. I also connected with several managed societies (the American Association for Women Radiologists, the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound) during my VPJ fellowship, which I will continue to be involved in during my career.

Matalon: I learned about the inner workings of the educational component at the ACR — how online curricula and other educational offerings are built from the ground up, often from a simple idea or a needs assessment. I was really impressed by the extensive skillset of the ACR education staff, ranging from incredible IT gurus to the personable and detail-oriented project managers. I certainly have a greater appreciation for the time and effort put into all of the educational content offered by the ACR!

What educational projects did you work on while in Reston? How did the ACR staff help you get your goals accomplished?

Raghu: My project is an online simulation module on managing contrast reactions. Contrast reactions are infrequent and anxiety-provoking clinical events, and high fidelity in-person simulations can be cumbersome to organize. My goal is to use the ACR Manual on Contrast Media to create a concise, timed, online educational module to serve as a refresher for radiologists. I worked with the ACR’s e-Learning team during my fellowship and also received excellent input from all the other staff in the Education Department.

Matalon: In the era of precision medicine with oncology at the forefront, there is an evolving role for radiology in the assessment of treatment response, as well as recognition of adverse effects. There are currently no guidelines regarding cancer-imaging education during radiology residency, with cancer-imaging topics often incorporated into other subjects by body part or imaging modality. Additionally, there is no easily accessible and comprehensive resource on this topic for current practicing radiologists. During my time at the ACR, I drafted a Proposed Activity Questionnaire (PAQ) on this topic and am planning on submitting it for consideration shortly. The staff at the ACR were invaluable mentors and guides. They shared with me examples of previously accepted PAQs, reviewed my drafts and provided me with useful suggestions for improvement.

Who would you recommend this experience to?

Raghu: I would highly recommend the Valerie P. Jackson Education Fellowship to any radiology resident with an interest in education and/or advocacy. There are a tremendous number of resources at the ACR headquarters, and limitless opportunities to get involved. Getting involved with the ACR through this fellowship is an excellent way to keep up with our rapidly changing field and to contribute to the radiology community as a whole.

Matalon: I believe this experience would be valuable at any level of radiologist’s career — but I am especially appreciative to have had this opportunity as a trainee. My time at the ACR provided me with the tools, and reinforced my desire, to remain active in the national and even international radiology education community throughout my career.

ACR17 333By Michele Retrouvey, MD, ACR-RFS Education Liaison and Pediatric Radiology Fellow, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

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