ACR 2016 RFS Meeting Recap

The RFS Executive Committee put together a packed schedule for the RFS meeting at the ACR 2016 annual meeting.

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Last month, RFS members from across the country gathered for the ACR 2016 meeting in Washington, D.C. After the welcome, there were updates from the various subcommittees under the umbrella of the RFS and discussion on topics most relevant to the next generation of radiologists.


Medical Students

The new Medical Student Task Force presented its goals of enhancing resources pertinent to medical students interested in radiology. The task force also plans to formalize a database of medical student interest groups. They recommended residents be actively involved in medical student education and mentoring to bolster interest. Have an interest in education? Apply for the Jackson Fellowship.


The Women and General Diversity Advisory Committee presented its survey data, which demonstrated limited exposure to radiology, patient interactions, and mentorship as main reasons female medical students do not pursue a career in radiology.

Radiology in Canada

The Canadian Association of Radiologists Resident Section reinforced its strong connection to its USA counterparts. Still in its infancy, the Canadian group continues to define itself as a resource for Canadian radiology residents, akin to the ACR RFS.

The AMA 

Members of the AMA subcommittee then discussed the AMA’s key issues this year, which included preventing opioid abuse, prescription drug monitoring, and transforming medical education. They also presented information about the Healthier National Innovation Challenge.


The International Outreach Subcommittee discussed grant and scholarship opportunities as well as the international experiences that are highlighted on the ACR RFS blog. More information can be obtained here.


Members of the Economics Advisory Group discussed the online journal club on health care economics lead by the leaders on radiology economics. They also outlined opportunities to be a resident representative on the ACR Commission on Economics. Have an interest in economics? Apply for the Moorefield Fellowship.


The JACR update highlighted the JACR blog as well as the Business Essentials Section of the JACR, geared toward beginners interested in learning about economics. Have an interest in publishing? Apply for the the Hillman Fellowship.


The meeting then moved to a session on legislative updates and the Radiology Advocacy Network. We learned that RADPAC (the ACR’s political action committee) raised $1.3 million, making it the second most funded physician PAC in the country. The surprising statistic was only 14 percent of ACR members donated! Any amount helps (even $5) and resident contributions are especially appreciated. You can contribute here. RFS members also highlighted the legislative victories over the past year as well as the current advocacy issues. Have an interest in advocacy? Apply for the Rutherford Fellowship.


We then had some fantastic sessions presented by leaders in radiology. The Radiology Leadership Institute® (RLI) gave a series of lectures titled “The Practice Environment of Modern Day Radiology.” Frank J. Lexa, MD, MBA, taught us how to nail a job interview. A prior version of this talk can be found here. Lexa also wrote a JACR article on the topic. Richard B. Gunderman, MD, FACR, then chronicled the journey of one of the most financially radiologist ever, Bill Cook, MD, a pioneer interventional radiologist and founder of Cook Medical.

Alexander M. Norbash, MD, FACR, gave a talk on Romneycare and hard lessons in universal healthcare. In addition to the RLI sessions, Dr. Bluth gave a talk that reinforced the positive outlook on the radiology job market.

Career Development

Another focus of this year's RFS meeting was career development. This portion of the meeting started with a discussion on professional liability for the radiologist, by Tom Hoffman, JD, an associate general legal counsel for the ACR. He focused on good communication, intellectual property, and image use and sharing. Good communication and documentation are among the best ways to reduce medicolegal risk and improve patient safety. If you produce innovative intellectual property, it is important to communicate early with your institution to negotiate. He reassured us that it is okay to use patient’s images but reinforced the need to de-identify them. Finally, he stated ACR Legal is a resource for all members and encouraged radiologists to reach out. Have an interest in Quality and Safety? Apply for the Amis Fellowship.

The next lecture in Career Development focused on non-clinical careers. Sanjay K. Shetty, MD, MBA, and Alexander S. Misono, MD, MBA, discussed their journeys through the business world and highlighted various options, including administration, venture capital, management consulting, expert witness, and tech/IT. They talked about creating your own “board of advisors” to help guide you in your journey. The career development portion was rounded out by a panel Q&A session with radiologists from teleradiology, a rural practice, a large private practice, and a large academic practice.

Lawrence R. Muroff, MD, FACR, then discussed how to evaluate a radiology job offer. He presented survey data that showed things are improving in the job market, as 63 percent of groups were looking to hire! He broke down average financial figures, including starting salary and buy-ins. He also suggested non-financial considerations, including equality in a practice, quality of life, support, and lifestyle for family. He emphasized looking for a group with stability and growth potential. See his JACR article for more information.


Gregory N. Nicola, MD, and Ezequiel Silva III, MD, FACR, showed us how quality and practice improvement projects will replace volume for reimbursement as soon as 2019. A resident primer can be found here.

Continuing Education

Kay H. Vydareny, MD, FACR, from the American Board of Radiology, broke down the two-part exam and emphasized that 100 percent of residents theoretically could pass the ABR exams.

The new RFS chair, McKinley Glover IV, MD, MHS, led the RFS through a caucus session to give residents an opportunity to share thoughts and concerns about ACR resolutions that pertained to RFS members.

Check out the RFS website for more information. Hope to see you at ACR 2017!

By Daniel Ortiz, MD, PGY-3 radiology resident at Eastern Virginia Medical School

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