RadiologyCentral.org, A First Step
“Houston. Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed....One small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” — Neil Armstrong (upon landing on the moon on July 20, 1969, and then stepping out onto the lunar surface the following day)
Maybe I am giving a wee bit too much drama and importance to the recent creation of another website. But it is a step forward for our profession. RadiologyCentral.org comes to you from the ACR and the Intersociety Committee (ISC).
The first ISC of the Board of Chancellors was established in 1936. The first summit meeting was held in the summer of 1979 and produced the following mission statement, which was created and later adopted by the committee members:
To establish and promote communication among the leaders of national radiological societies and to provide them with the open access to all the resources of the College through the committee, with the chair serving as an ombudsman for all radiologic organizations; to act as a catalyst between the Summer Conference and the College in its function as the lead agency for the radiologic community and particularly in consideration of those topics identified by the Summer Conference attendees which extend beyond the perimeters of any one society, including the College.
The following year, in 1980, the Intersociety Commission was formed, and a letter of invitation was sent to all identifiable national radiological societies. Twenty-two societies joined at that time. In 1996, the summit was renamed the Summer Conference. In 2001, the Intersociety Commission once again became the Intersociety Committee. Currently, more than 50 organizations participate including two certifying boards.
So what is RadiologyCentral.org? It is a tangible result of the deliberations of the Intersociety Committee in 2010 and 2011.
In 2010, the topic for the Summer Conference, held in Santa Fe, N.M., was "The Radiology Conglomerate: Optimizing the Structure and Function of the 50+ Radiology Organizations." In 2011, at the 33rd conference of the ISC, the discussion continued in Sundance, Utah, under the title of "Optimizing the Structure and Function of the 50+ Organizations, Part 2: A Unified Strategic Plan." The summary of those two meetings can be found in the JACR®.1
The member organizations of the ISC agreed that radiology would benefit from consolidation and collaboration of the organizations. The plan called for coordination of annual meetings, online educational materials, research infrastructure, and other aspects. The possibility of combining foundations was also brought up. The plan also suggested creation of a formal communication network.
At the ISC meeting in 2011, it was revealed that the 50+ organizations collectively hold 36 annual meetings, 53 percent of which are held in the spring. It was expressed that substantial benefit could be derived from coordinating meetings as well as educational materials. The opportunity for coordinated meetings would include dates and locations.
Thus RadiologyCentral.org was created to answer this need. As ACR BOC chair, I asked that the ISC in conjunction with the IT staff at the College move forward. Thanks to the efforts of many people, including Gerald "Chip" Dodd III, MD, FACR, chair of the ISC, and ACR staff members Pam Mechler, senior director of association-meetings services, and Michael Tilkin, chief information officer, RadiologyCentral.org went live in January 2013.
So, what does RadiologyCentral.org do? The homepage takes you to the ISC mission statement and leads to a history of the ISC, which I have largely borrowed for the preceding paragraphs of this column.
Other points of interest on RadiologyCentral.org include the Societies link and the Calendar of Events link. The Societies link takes you to an alphabetical listing of our 50+ member organizations with their names, logos, and addresses. Click on any of these societies and you are taken to a page dedicated to that society's listing, which includes its mission statement, executive director, officers, and contact info. Click on their link and you will be taken to the society's home page.
Now for the best part: from the home page of RadiologyCentral.org, click on Calendar of Events. This will give you a chronological listing of all upcoming meetings and events that have been submitted to RadiologyCentral.org via the ACR. Click on any meeting and you will arrive on a page that gives a short description of the meeting along with the date, location, and a link to the website for that meeting.
In the upper right-hand corner of the Calendar of Events page, you will see Calendar View. One click takes you to an actual calendar with a monthly display of all society events and meetings, which can help you decide at a glance which meetings you want to attend. If you are planning a meeting, you can see immediately which dates are open and who else might be planning a meeting at that same time or in close proximity. You can see all societies or filter by society, subspecialty/modality, and/or location (by state or Canadian province).
Of course, the information is only as good as that which is received by ACR. It is up to the intersociety member organizations to provide us with their logo, mission statement, leadership contact information, website link, and calendar of meetings. Please go online and check it out.
1. Dodd GD. “Optimizing the Structure and Function of the 50-Plus Radiology Organizations, Part 2: A Unified Strategic Plan – A Summary of the 2011 Intersociety Conference.” JACR 2012;9(5):325–28.
By Paul H. Ellenbogen, MD, FACR, Chair