A unique commission brings together diverse groups with similar needs.
The Commission on General, Small, and/or Rural Practice (GSR) is a specialty commission representing ACR members who are general radiologists, practice general radiology, are members of small groups, or practice in rural locales.
Unlike the groups represented by other specialty commissions, GSR radiologists have no specialty societies focused on their unique needs. Although the exact number is unknown, the commission represents thousands of members that fit in one or more of these GSR categories. It is a challenge for them to meet, converse, and share concerns and problems in real time.
Historically, it has been very difficult for the leadership of the ACR to identify these members, to obtain feedback and insights about their issues, and to identify or cultivate future leaders out of these ranks. In an attempt to bridge out the gap, the GSR Network Committee, chaired by Charles W. Bowkley III, MD, was formed with the mission to create a virtual society for GSR radiologists. The committee's first success was establishing a GSR Network, which has now been operational for several months and has members from almost every state. This core group will serve as a vital resource for the leaders from the GSR Commission and other commissions in the College looking to obtain insight and advice on issues that affect our GSR members.
We have also created an online web portal, where we house resources for the network members and, most importantly, provide a discussion forum where they can more actively engage one another in real time. The next step is to develop a strategy for broader engagement of the GSR members through a variety of social media. The ultimate goal is to have a vibrant virtual society that can discuss and bring forward the issues of concern to our GSR members. This will create an opportunity for members to exchange ideas and come to know one another professionally and personally. The task is just beginning, and we are hopeful that the web portal will be up and running by sometime this fall. We've made a great start and the work continues.
The commission performs a variety of functions on behalf of the ACR members through its committees comprised of talented and dedicated volunteer radiologists. Below, I describe the various committees that fall under the GSR Commission. In addition to creating a web page on the ACR website for the commission, we have also created a web page for each of the committees. Each of these pages contains information on committee members, staff contacts, and resources pertaining to the committee. To take a look, visit http://bit.ly/GSRCommission.
The Committee on Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards, chaired by Matthew S. Pollack, MD, FACR, manages the revision and development of guidelines related to general radiology, as well as the guidelines that deal with the overall practice of radiology.
The Committee on Economics is chaired by Robert S. Pyatt Jr., MD, FACR. The committee meets monthly to discuss a wide variety of economics issues and has produced several webinars on the major economic issues impacting the practice of radiology. The committee plans to continue these webinars and develop a library of resources for GSR radiologists.
As recommended by the Task Force on the General Radiologist in the 21st Century, in order to study and promote the concept of a multi-specialty radiologist (MSR), a committee was formed with Paul A. Larson, MD, FACR, as the chair. (Read more about the task force in its 2012 report at http://bit.ly/JACR21stCentury.) The committee has begun its work and recently published a bibliography of key literature on the various roles played by the general radiologist, the MSR, and single-specialty radiologists.
Emergency radiology is a growing subspecialty area. The newly formed Emergency Radiology (ER) Committee, chaired by Stephen F. Hatem, MD, is housed within the GSR Commission to provide the committee with administrative support and organizational presence. The committee provides the emergency radiologist's perspective on all matters of interest throughout the College.
In addition to the committees within the GSR Commission, close coordination with the Commissions on Human Resources and Education is provided by E. Michael Donner III, MD, FACR, and Steven B. Birnbaum, MD, respectively.
These are exciting times. The commission's web page has been updated with new resources for practicing radiologists. The GSR Network promises to become a reliable source of information about what is occurring on the ground throughout the country. The creation of a virtual specialty society for GSR radiologists through the use of social media will open up new avenues of communications among our members. The GSR Commission will continue to represent the needs of general radiologists and small and rural practices through initiatives like these and many more.
By Lawrence A. Liebscher, MD, FACR, chair, ACR Commission on General, Small, and/or Rural Practice