Meet the ACR Leadership: Adam Specht, MD

This is the first installment of a series titled “Meet the ACR Leadership.” Throughout the series, we will interview the ACR Leadership to get insight into their background and involvement in the ACR.leadership

For the first installment, I will be interviewing Adam Specht, MD, who is in his second year on the ACR College Nominating Committee (CNC), for which he was elected Vice Chair.

He is also a past President of the Virginia Chapter of the ACR. Dr. Specht is a partner in Medical Center Radiologists (MCR) Inc., which is affiliated with Eastern Virginia Medical School.

How did you get involved in ACR and what kept you involved?

I have been involved with ACR since my residency training years. Each individual radiologist has benefited from those who’ve come before us. I had the privilege of being under the tutelage of very involved Virginia radiologists. That holds true to this day.

I have always felt strongly that we each have a role in the operations and betterment of our profession. It is terrific to see how robust the RFS-YPS section has become. I feel that is a healthy indication of younger radiologists appreciating the need to be a part and often taking the lead in the ACR. I am deeply grateful to those who’ve preceded me, and feel there is no better way to honor them than to continue their work.

What is the purpose of the college nominating committee?

The function of the nominating committee is to evaluate potential candidates for the various positions needed to help the ACR function as an effective body. We seek to identify the right characteristics and qualifications that are appropriate to the position one might be seeking. These positions are at various levels within the college structure.

Some build upon prior positions, whereas as others could be viewed as more ground level — “no experience necessary,” so to speak. That is what is terrific about the structure; there is something for everyone. Our challenge as a committee is to put forth the optimal slate for the council to choose their future leaders from. My experience to date has been that we have too many well-qualified individuals to have to select amongst for committees such as the CNC, or the Council Steering Committee (CSC). My advice to those who might not be selected for a slate, or who do not go on to be elected, is to always keep trying. Timing might not always work out the way you envisioned, but the college will always need you.

What qualities/qualifications are important in evaluating a candidate?

Different positions require different strengths, but it is important to remember that such skills certainly can be learned; you do not have to be a “natural.” I think the two most important traits, regardless of the position, are you have to bring an enthusiasm/energy to the job, and you should be comfortable with open-minded discussion.

All of these positions require interacting with others. Great ideas can come from anywhere. It might be the polar opposite of what you think, but the ability to see others’ perspectives is important. Whether at the ground level or a top level position in the ACR, those principles to me remain the same.

Can you explain how an interested resident or fellow can position themselves to run for one of these positions in the future?

Be affable. Be a sponge and learn from mentors. Find something you are energized by, and get engaged. Seek out the current position holders and “pick their brain.” Use your chain of command to let your interests be known. That can be your academic setting, state chapter, RFS-YPS leadership, or ACR leaders. You have a crucial role to serve, and every role should be viewed as crucial. It’s not about the grandeur of the position, it’s about being part of something important.

By Daniel Ortiz, MD, secretary of the ACR RFS and a 3rd year resident at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

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