Be the Local “Voice of Radiology”

This post was contributed by Geraldine B. McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, vice chair of the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors.

Dr.McGinty(updated)ACR chair James A. Brink, MD, FACR, is the featured expert in a recent Gentlemen’s Quarterly (GQ) article on (ahem) male genital radiation protection during X-rays and other instances where radiation may be encountered. While the article’s title (“Why Doesn’t the Doctor Protect My Junk During an X-Ray?”) and its tongue-in-cheek style gained some equally humorous Twitter responses, it is a positive (if not colorful) example of a radiologist “being the voice of radiology.”

I sometimes hear radiologists say that they didn’t like the way the specialty is portrayed on a TV show or don’t like descriptions or conclusions regarding a radiology subject in their local newspaper. But, I wonder how many of us realize that this is something we can help address in our communities — if we’re willing to do it.

If interested, I would urge you to let your facility or health system media relations or marketing/public relations staff know that you are willing to do interviews when your local media need an expert to comment on medical imaging or radiation oncology issues. This helps cement our specialty’s role and reputation as the recognized experts in our area of medicine. It also helps ensure that correct information gets out there – so patients don’t make counterproductive health care decisions based on faulty information.

In addition to your local PR support, the ACR can help. If you have an interview coming up that you would like help in preparing for, the ACR media relations staff (PR@acr.org) can often provide talking points (for major/common radiology issues) or, if time, even connect you with another ACR expert who can help clarify the ACR position or answer specific medical or guideline related questions.

Our voice is loudest when we speak as one voice, but first we must actually speak out.

I would invite those who do media interviews to provide any tips that you might have for others. I would also like to hear why you think being the voice of radiology in our communities is so vital. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and join the discussion on Engage (login required).

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