Building the Future of Radiology

The Radiology Leadership Institute® aims to broaden its reach and support radiologists throughout the specialty.Building the Future

Cynthia S. Sherry, MD, MMM, FACR, chief medical officer of the Radiology Leadership Institute® (RLI), explains where the RLI is headed and why leadership skills matter for radiology professionals.

Q: In two sentences or less, tell us about the RLI campaign.

A: The campaign leadership set a goal to raise $5 million to enhance the offerings and infrastructure of the RLI and to extend its reach to a wider audience.

Q: Are you close to meeting your goal?

A: We are so pleased that we recently topped our goal and completed the first phase of the campaign. Even though we've reached our goal, any member who is interested can still contribute! (To learn more, visit

Q: What kind of participation have you seen so far?

A: We've had 100 percent participation by the BOC, CSC, and the campaign executive committee. Past and present leaders of the ACR have significantly contributed, as have members from a variety of subspecialties and members at various stages in their careers. Participation by several chapters has been impressive.

Our industry partners have been very generous, especially GE, Siemens, Hologic, and Zotec.

Q: Why is it important for the RLI to develop partnerships with industry?

A: The future of radiology and the future of our industry partners are linked. Together we can be much more influential than we are separately. The RLI provides opportunities for radiology professionals to learn from industry and for these companies to learn from us.

Q: How will the funds be used?

A: We will use the funds to further the ultimate goal of the RLI: to cultivate new leaders for our specialty, people who can be effective in helping to shape the future of radiology and health care. That means offering scholarships, producing webinars, and holding additional events, including simulated-experience programs, which facilitate action learning. In addition to that, we're funding technology platform developments to make it easier and more efficient to participate in the RLI and to reach a wider audience. To meet the needs of our enrollees, we have to continually refine the format and the delivery of our content.

We will also continue to engage top faculty from within our ranks and from noteworthy academic business schools and leadership institutes.

Q: Why do you think the campaign as been so successful so far?

A: In large measure, the campaign success is due to the dedication of our volunteer team, who worked tirelessly to reach the goal. Our message resonates broadly with radiology professionals, and there is a general acknowledgement of turbulent times across medicine. There's so much at stake for both doctors and patients during the health care transition that it's more important than ever for radiology professionals to become more knowledgeable and influential. Successful leaders of today must be equipped with modern skillsets and tools, and radiology professionals must take the lead in ensuring that our patients continue to receive save, high-quality imaging.

Q: How does the RLI improve patient care?

A: The RLI is giving radiology professionals the tools they need to maximize quality, service, and patient care. Enrollees will learn new skills for running practices and departments, leading quality and safety improvements, getting more involved in hospital administrative activies, and advancing policy changes in the political realm that impact all patients. All of this improves radiology on the front lines.

Q: What can the RLI offer to someone who's been practicing for years but wants to learn some new skills?

A: The RLI program has something for everyone, regardless of how skilled or experienced they are in leadership and management already. And that's one of the reasons it's formatted as a multi-level stair-step program. Clearly the needs of a seasoned leader are different from those of someone who's early on the learning curve of leadership development. In this way, the RLI can offer appropriate content for different audiences.

Q: What about a resident, fellow, or young physician?

A: Leadership skills are particularly important for radiology professionals early in their careers. These young people need to begin preparing to tackle some of the difficult health care decisions of the future.

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