Investing in the Future of Radiology
The Minnesota Chapter Increases Resident Involvement through AMCLC.
For many members of the ACR, AMCLC represents the highlight of the radiology calendar year and plays a central role in creating policies that affect the practice of radiology.
But for first-year radiology residents from Minnesota, AMCLC has served as a unique introduction to the ACR and has resulted in a wave of resident involvement at both the state and national levels.
Since 2009, the Minnesota Radiological Society (MRS) has sent first-year radiology residents from the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester to participate in the Resident and Fellow Section activities at AMCLC. Donations for the program have been made by a number of private radiology practices in Minnesota. Residents were also granted one day off from their institutions to attend the conference. The program has been remarkably effective in increasing resident attendance at AMCLC. Since its inception, 122 radiology residents from the state of Minnesota have attended the conference, a number rivaled only by a handful of states (all of which have much larger resident populations).
Prior to the program’s creation, the MRS was considering ways to increase resident involvement in the ACR. Guided by Kevin L. Smith, MD, the chapter soon decided there was no better way to facilitate residents’ involvement than by bringing them to AMCLC. Tim H. Emory, MD, FACR, past MRS president, explains, “To have the residents exposed to [AMCLC] early on in their training helps establish a framework to build on. It is the best chance for encouraging them to get involved and influence radiology in a rapidly changing health care environment.”
Residents who have participated in the program have already begun to make an impact within the ACR at the local and national levels. Since the program began, participants have been elected to RFS executive committee positions, served as ACR Rutherford fellows, published articles on advocacy topics, and organized community service projects. These achievements are important not only for the individual residents, but for their state as well. As Robert W. Maxwell, MD, notes, “It’s imperative that state radiological societies not only implement but foster and grow resident involvement. Just as a person with many likes on Facebook or followers on Twitter is an influence in their social circle, a society’s influence is judged by the strength, diversity, and depth of its membership. And residents are a key element of the ACR membership.”
The MRS views this program as an investment in the education and leadership training of future radiology leaders in their state. Although the logistical and financial aspects of the program may seem prohibitive at the outset, the average cost of sending a resident to the conference has been approximately $650, a relatively small amount considering the overall value of the experience. As noted by Megan B. Meyers, MD, past ACR RFS executive committee member and 2011–2013 program participant, “AMCLC was invigorating and gave me momentum to stay involved.”
In order to provide continued support for its RFS programs, the MRS established a foundation in 2014. The foundation will allow individual radiologists, private radiology practices, and members of industry to provide donations. By creating a foundation, the MRS is making a long-term commitment to resident involvement in both state and ACR activities. This, in turn, is an investment in radiology’s future.
By Ryan P. Brady, MD, David R. Eckmann, MD, FACR, and Kevin L. Smith, MD