Back to School

ACR has a lot to offer, whether you're looking to keep your skills current or pursue something new.back to school

It's that time of year. The days are cooling off and the leaves are getting ready to change color and fall. Meanwhile, kids and parents are getting ready for a new school year. Nervous stomachs and first-day jitters abound.


At the American College of Radiology, we're also preparing for upcoming classes. We are pleased to offer an extensive list of educational offerings spread throughout the calendar year.

A few years ago, when the ACR was preparing to create the Education Center, we faced some challenges when applying for the necessary permits from Fairfax County, Va. We were continually explaining what ACR does and our goals for the ACR Education Center, which differed from those of other "colleges" with which the county had experience. The county was particularly flummoxed by the parking needs of the Education Center because we needed far fewer spots than a traditional college would require. This held up the plans for several months. At the time, we jokingly talked about recruiting an ACR football team and cheerleaders.

After miles of red tape and thanks to the dedicated work of the ACR members and staff, the Education Center opened its doors as one of the most technologically advanced training facilities in the world. In its first four years, the center has hosted 4,300 radiologists attending courses in 11 different areas.

In addition to the Education Center, we've also founded the American Institute for Radiologic Pathology (AIRP) and the Radiology Leadership Institute (RLI). The AIRP offers a variety of courses geared towards helping radiologists to relate pathology and imaging. In 2011, AIRP hosted five four-week sessions with a total of 1,508 attendees. The RLI, just launched in July of 2012, sets out to equip radiology professionals — in both private practice and academia — with the leadership skills they need to advance their careers and strengthen the radiology profession. Find out more about the RLI launch event on page 20.

One could argue that over the past decade the education branch of the ACR has grown more than any other area.

These endeavors are outstanding additions to our other ACR education efforts, such as the hugely popular Case in Point, which goes out to 6,748 subscribers each day. Additionally, the ACR provides over 4,600 in-training exams, while its new learning management system has over 260 online educational activities offering more than 400 CME credits. The system was used by more than 8,400 learners in 2011. The ACR also puts on national meetings, like the National Conference on Breast Cancer which I had the honor and pleasure to attend this year, and grants the designation of FACR at the convocation for new ACR fellows. The ceremony is accompanied by the pomp and circumstance and full regalia befitting this honor.

Another valuable component of ACR's education pillar is our international outreach. The Global Summit on Radiological Quality and Safety will bring together regional, national, and international health organizations, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, and corporations who share a dedication to quality and safety in radiology. The inaugural meeting is set to take place in Washington, D.C., immediately following the AMCLC in May 2013. The college is also involved in education radiologists, technologists, and referring physicians in Haiti as part of our international outreach.

While some members believe the college should focus all of its attention, staff, time, and money on economic issues, I disagree — and so do many others. The ACR prides itself on five pillars: advocacy, economics, education, quality and safety, and clinical research.

While each pillar brings great value to ACR members, the pillars do not exist as discrete entities. Rather, there is considerable crossover among the pillars. For example, the ACR Commission on Economics plays a vital role in the educational component at the AMCLC. The educational component of the ACR works hand-in-hand with the other pillars for the betterment of our patients and our members.

In fact, one could argue that over the past decade the education branch of the ACR has grown more than any other area. With so many programs, classes, and conferences each year, there's bound to be something that interests you. Maybe it's time to think about heading back to school yourself.

Paul EllenbogenBy Paul H. Ellenbogen, MD, FACR, Chair

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