RSNA Resident and Fellow Council

RSNA Tomblinson

As a trainee, we are often so focused on our own education that it can become easy to allow non-clinical interests to fall aside. However, both the ACR and RSNA offer valuable opportunities for trainees to get involved in organized radiology.

Chairs of the RSNA Resident & Fellow Committee (RFC) (myself) and the ACR RFS (McKinley Glover IV, MD, MHS,) cross-serve to foster collaboration on trainee-relevant issues among the RSNA and ACR. You probably know some of what the ACR offers trainees. Read on to find out about parallel programs from the RSNA and how to get involved.

The first step is to ask: “What aspect of organized radiology interests me?” While you most certainly may have more than one interest (and many of us do), general themes include medical education, research, innovation, quality, advocacy, and health policy. While offering comprehensive materials, the RSNA focuses efforts on medical education, both to members-in-training and current practitioners. The RSNA RFC offers a place for trainees to express views important to their training, develop shareable tools for the advancement of medical education, and form a community that strengthens our relationships among colleagues.

The RSNA RFC is composed of 26 trainee members and 3 faculty members. Members of the RFC are appointed by the Board of Directors, but may volunteer to serve to the RFC here. We have six subcommittees (ABR Advisory, RadioGraphics, Social Media, Fellowship, Program, and Communications) and could use your input!

If there’s anything that 2016 taught me, it was to step out of my comfort zone, to learn from my peers, and to take the time to stay connected in meaningful relationships. The RSNA RFC provided opportunities in all three of these areas, and I hope you find them beneficial too as you pursue your own education and interests in the coming year. Here’s what I learned:

Step out of your comfort zone. Taking a leadership role, particularly as a junior resident, can be daunting. Take the risk — it’ll be worth it. Not only will you gain personal satisfaction from meaningful participation, but you’ll gain confidence in the process. RSNA’s Resident Representative (R3) program offers an R2 resident at each radiology training program to serve a one-year term as a liaison to the RSNA RFC. This position, nominated by respective program directors, helps trainees across the country have a more direct line of access to RSNA leadership. In addition, the R3 is a vital intermediary for disseminating opportunities for their fellow trainees to get involved in a broad range of activities, from scholarships to grants to leadership academies.

Learn from your peers. We spend an enormous amount of time with our fellow trainees. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn something from them, and show reciprocity by showcasing your own projects at the RSNA Annual Meeting. RSNA fosters a community of scholarship through many programs, but the educational programming at the Annual Meeting is its crown jewel. Lectures and educational exhibits can be accessed online through the Virtual Meeting if you’re unable to attend in person. Need a little help distilling down high-yield review topics for the Core exam? Turn to the RadioGraphics ABR Core Exam Study Guide ( for articles indexed by radiologic subspecialty, many of which were written by fellow trainees and leaders in the field.

Staying connected. Whether it is through Career Connect, social media networking, or hosting a RadioGraphics Journal Club at your home institution, RSNA offers ample ways to stay connected with colleagues you met last year at McCormick Place or through the RFC. Apply to join a committee, speak at the Annual Meeting, attend the RFC Tweet Up, learn the ins and outs of academic medicine through the ITAR program, or test your new hypothesis with a Research Scholar Grant.

Becoming involved in the RFC was one avenue that afforded me both personal and professional growth during my training. Over the past two and half years, I’ve learned that all of these invaluable opportunities and resources are available through the RSNA at no cost, but the confidence, growth, and relationships I’ve formed through the RFC? Well, you can’t put a price on that.

Courtney Tomblinson, MD, diagnostic radiology resident at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
Twitter: @cmtomblinson

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