ACR 2017 RFS Meeting Highlights
This year’s third edition of The Crossroads of Radiology, which included the 25th RFS meeting, may have been the most stimulating and event-packed meeting that I have had the pleasure of attending yet.
Our new RFS Chair, Colin Segovis, MD, PHD, kicked the meeting off with a welcome address and introduced our first speaker of 2017, Keith Dreyer, DO. We had to pleasure of hearing from Dr. Dreyer as our keynote address because of his role as the chair of the ACR Commission on Informatics and the perceived threat many radiologist and trainees are concerned about with the advent and maturation of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The idea of saving the best for last was obviously not in the works this year, as Dr. Dreyer’s address was more like starting things off with a bang. It was a motivating and enlightening address for the future radiologists in the room by one of the champions for the ACR in preparing our field for the future. This turned out to fit perfectly with this year’s meeting, as it was later announced that the ACR would be implementing a new Data Science Institute.
A final chance to hear from last year’s RFS Executive Committee (EC) members kicked off the business side of the meeting. We were updated on the goals and objectives that the EC achieved over the past year in office. Reports covered the broadening of a social media footprint, diversifying the RFS base, and strengthening resident educational programs. The RFS RADPAC representatives wrapped up this portion of the meeting with the yearly update. RADPAC continues to be the second highest physician-funded PAC, with nearly 300 residents contributing every year. With the continued support from those who contributed, RADPAC had an extremely successful 2016 election season, with 98 percent house race success and 89 percent senate race success.
An intriguing panel session comprised of several newly branded attending radiologists sparked a well-received discussion highlighting the typical pros and cons for academics settings, private practice radiology, and teleradiology. The last presentation of the day featured Zeke Silva, MD, FACR, chair of the ACR Commission on Economics. He provided the RFS with a very helpful explanation of the future impact of MACRA and process of an RVU becoming a dollar.
In with the new and out with the old. The 2017 RFS elections came down to the wire with many of the positions as well as a record turnout in nominations. We welcome our newly elected RFS EC team Daniel Ortiz, MD, Christopher Mutter, DO, Monica Wood, MD, Kimberly Beavers, MD, Michele Retrouvey, MD, and Meghan Macomber, MD. Christopher McAdams, MD, and David Mihal, MD, well serve as our new Intersociety Committee representatives. Our Nominating Committee team includes Yayone Rivaud, MD, Jamie Williams, MD, and Tucker Fischbeck, MD. Specific position and election information can be found on the ACR RFS webpage.
The day is not complete without a guest appearance by Harry Jha, MBBS, and Kay Vydareny, MD, FACR, associate executive director for diagnostic radiology at the American Board of Radiology for an open-microphone session to discuss the current ABR core exam, which is in its fourth year. A thorough presentation on the history of the ABR was followed with a somewhat heated but overall enlightening question-and-answer session between the audience, Dr. Jha, and Dr. Vydareny. The gist of the session resulted in the realization that the core exam isn’t going anywhere, so start preparation, you rising R3s. Your turn will be soon right around the corner.
As a recent tradition, the second day opens with the RFS caucus, which is typically led by the previous year’s chair (McKinley Glover, MD). The session began with a refresher describing the ACR governance structure and the policy-creation process. It is important to remember that there are only a total of five councilors to represent the whole RFS body, so this session allows for the councilors to stand as a unified front on certain issues in order to maximize our representation.
Out of the 45 total resolutions that will be legislated during the 2017 session, the RFS councilors felt two resolutions needed to be focused on during the RFS caucus. Under resolution 34 undergraduate students would be added to the member-in-training category. The resolution would also mandate that the ACR Commission on Membership and Communications would develop criteria for extending memberships to these undergraduate students. Resolution 23 would establish an exploratory fact-finding mission to explore the possibility of increased patients and patient stakeholders roles in ACR conference attendance and presentations. It would also include patients in the ACR membership or as participants in the Board of Chancellors.
The JACR staff Bruce J. Hillman, MD, FACR, JACR editor-in-Chief, and Ruth J. Carlos, MD, FACR, JACR deputy editor, were greeted with open arms for their second guest appearance in just as many years to discuss the day in the life of a JACR editor as well as a plug for the yearly Hillman Fellowship opportunity with the JACR. Naturally, one of the 2016 Hillman Fellows, H. Benjamin Harvey, MD, JD, was then introduced in order to share his experiences working side-by-side with the JACR editors for a one-week period followed by one-week with the journal’s publisher, Elsevier. Interested in becoming the 2017 Hillman Fellow? The deadline to apply is August 31, 2017.
A yearly staple is the ACR Workforce Update for members-in-training, where the chair of the ACR Commission on Human Resources is invited to update the RFS members on what to expect when we attempt to find a job upon completion of training. This year’s update was another positive one, as a large contingent of more seasoned radiologists is set to retire within the next five years due continued economic prosperity and financial stability for those older radiologists who may have put off retirement previously.
The session also highlighted the ACR’s efforts to narrow the gender gap, as diversity is another issue that is important to stay ahead of the curve. A recent JACR articles, “Radiology as a Career for Women: Influences and Recommendations,” further explored this issue.
Finally, we capped off this year’s meeting with a presentation by Lawrence R. Muroff, MD, FACR, CEO and president at Imaging Consultants Inc., as part 2 of the Career Kickstarter session. Muroff discussed the topic of employment contract. The important takeaway points from this session: First, you should have a lawyer go over the contract with you so that you are aware of language that may discuss future financial obligations, the non-compete clause, or what your role will be in that new group. Second, there may be very little to no negotiations for the contracts of today, as each group will most likely have a single contract to eliminate infighting or ethically questionable practices. Lastly, Muroff underscored that though a practice or group can verbally promise you things all day, if those promises are not reflected in the paper contract then the group is not legally bound to honor them.
Christopher Mutter, DO, radiology resident at Michigan State University/Spectrum Health