Reporting Back

The RFS, Young and Early Career Physicians Section, ABR, and clinical research leadership outline changes to the specialty and directions going forward.reporting back

As part of Monday's AMCLC programming, leaders representing the 2012-2013 Resident and Fellow Section, the ABR, ACRIN®, and RTOG® reported on activities, accomplishments, challenges, and plans for the future.

Topics ranged from newly launched clinical trials to the all-important maintenance of certification (MOC) requirements.

Embarking on a Career

C. Matthew Hawkins, MD, RFS chair, commemorated the 21st anniversary of the RFS by thanking all who laid the foundation that now supports the ACR's members-in-training. Hawkins then announced goals and objectives for the 2012-2013 RFS executive committee. The committee members' predecessors made great strides in growing the section and introducing trainees to radiology, said Hawkins. The incoming leaders plan to build upon that success by engaging and encouraging residents and fellows to contribute to the mission of the College.

This year the RFS introduced an online journal club focused on economic topics. The Resident Advocacy Network was also expanded dramatically and now represents more than 70 residency programs throughout the country. Hawkins also announced a new subcommittee: the RFS International Outreach Subcommittee, which will be chaired by Rebecca Gerber, MD.

The RFS has also taken steps to improve intersociety collaboration. The section established a formal collaborative relationship with the RSNA Resident and Fellow Committee with the goals of expanding efforts and minimizing duplication. "Everyone cannot do everything," said Hawkins, "but everyone can and should do something. And they should do it well."

Additionally, Arun Krishnaraj, MD, MPH, chair of the Young and Early Career Physician Section (YPS), gave the section's inaugural annual report. Krishnaraj acknowledged that young physicians face serious challenges as they begin their careers. "We are entering a job market with prospects not nearly as bright as they were a decade ago," he said.

In 2012, the YPS established a mentor network to connect YPS members with residents who share similar interests. The YPS website was also updated to cover such topics as MOC, financial planning, meaningful use, time management, and child rearing. In addition, the section set a goal to have a YPS member on each committee in the College. Krishnaraj closed with thoughts about the future. "For our section to be successful, you must be informed of the issues, be engaged in your state radiological societies, and be active in the College," he told YPS members. "To the other members of the College, please support our emerging sections, because, for us, the future is now."

Gaining Knowledge

The ABR serves all radiologists in a critically important area: MOC. James P. Borgstede, MD, FACR, ABR president, highlighted changes in MOC since last year, including the new self-assessment CME, which will make up one-third of CME credit, according to new American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) requirements. (Read more about SA-CME in the June Bulletin article "A Crash Course in SA-CME" at http://bit.ly/SA-CME.)

Another topic of interest was the interventional radiology and diagnostic radiology certificate recently announced by ABMS. "The ABR goal is to optimize patient care with this certification," said Borgstede, "and optimizing patient care will also be optimal for radiologists and our specialty in the future."

Strengthening Research

Leaders in clinical research then updated the audience on ACR's research achievements and plans to conduct clinical research as NRG Oncology and the ECOG-ACRIN cancer research group, which will be part of the National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). Mitchell D. Schnall, MD, PhD, ACRIN network chair, outlined the group's clinical trials statistics. A total of 11 trials that began in 2012 are ongoing, with 1,108 patients enrolled. ACRIN also opened five new trials, one of which was the product of collaboration with RTOG. In addition, ACRIN published 17 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Schnall also touched on the scientific focus of ECOG-ACRIN, an effort that he will co-chair when grant funding begins in 2014, bringing ECOG-ACRIN on board as an NCTN research group. With so many changes in the works, he concluded, "2014 will continue to be a time of transition."

Reporting on ACR research continued with Seth A. Rosenthal, MD, FACR, incoming chair of the Commission on Radiation Oncology, who related RTOG activities on behalf of Walter J. Curran Jr., MD, FACR, RTOG chair. RTOG's clinical trials target disease sites in which radiation therapy can improve survival through enhanced loco-regional tumor control. In 2012, the RTOG accrued over 3,300 patients to 46 different clinical trials. Rosenthal emphasized RTOG's 45-year record of contributions to clinical and translational research in radiation oncology. This legacy will continue as RTOG joins NRG Oncology.

Michael V. Knopp, MD, PhD, Imaging Radiation Oncology Core (IROC) co-director and principal investigator for imaging, detailed the mission of IROC: to provide integrated diagnostic imaging and radiation oncology quality assurance programs in support of the NCTN. "The IROC QA center is based on the alignment and harmonization of the current most active and experienced teams in national clinical trials imaging and radiation therapy quality management with decades of experience, knowledge, and infrastructure," said Knopp. For more about the research group reorganization, read "Clinical Transitions" in the May Bulletin at http://bit.ly/TransformingResearch.


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