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My “Amazing Amis” Fellowship Experience
Through my physician journey, I have come to realize that I am driven by the desire to deliver high-quality care, while providing exceptional patient experiences. Breast imaging, more than any other specialty, not only encourages me in my pursuit but also expects me to pursue these aims. I have been involved in multiple quality improvement and patient safety initiatives as a radiology resident at the Augusta University Medical Center, which subsequently led me to apply to the ACR’s E. Stephen Amis, Jr., MD, Fellowship in Quality and Safety.
This fellowship offers radiology and radiation oncology residents the opportunity to gain firsthand insight and experience with the ACR’s department of quality and safety over the course of two sessions. During the first session, fellows participate in the drafting of new or revised ACR practice parameters and technical standards; during the second, fellows are engaged in the debate, revision, and approval of the draft standards from session one. The core objective of these definitive sessions is to promote the safe and effective use of diagnostic and therapeutic radiology. The major outcome of these technical standards is describing specific training, skills, and techniques that help to advance the science of radiology and improve the quality of patient service.
My first week in the fellowship was at the ACR’s headquarters in Reston, Va. I stayed about five minutes away from the headquarters, and there was a shuttle to take me to work if I wanted. My week began with a presentation to the ACR staff about my residency experience, the safety and quality activities I have participated in, and my future interests in radiology. ACR flawlessly planned my schedule for the week to ensure I met with representatives from every major initiative at the ACR, including breast imaging, ACR Appropriateness Criteria® (AC), and RADPEER®.
These meetings were a personal highlight because I was exposed to the breadth of work that radiologists and the College find themselves involved in. Some of the areas were exciting because I was familiar with them such as the Radiology Leadership Institute® (of which I am a member) and the AC, which I often reference personally and professionally when preparing lectures for other specialties. Others were exciting because they were new and interesting such as the Harvey L. Neiman Health Policy Institute® and the Data Science Institute™.
My schedule also allowed time to pursue my personal radiological interests. Due to my interest in breast imaging, I was given extra time to with the breast imaging section. I also had the opportunity to participate in the ACR breast imaging boot camp session, during which I was able to practice my imaging interpretation skills by doing digital screening and diagnostic mammograms at my own PACS digital workstation. I also had the opportunity to observe a session dedicated to developing the AC.
The Amis Fellowship seeks to provide radiology or radiation oncology residents with a formal introduction to the department of quality of safety, but I believe it offers so much more. This opportunity has given me the chance to be directly involved with quality and patient safety conversations at a national level. Being exposed to multiple departments, and always feeling welcomed and appreciated, allowed me to learn much more than I expected — and to enjoy myself in the process. I have only competed a portion of the fellowship, and I’m already confident that it will be a career-defining opportunity for me. I look forward to participating in the process of defining new practice parameters at the ACR’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., in May.
Jasmine N. Locklin, MD, is a resident at Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.