Inclusivity for All with New Meeting Mentors at ACR 2019

Dr.McGinty(updated)_andcroppedThis post was contributed by Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors

When I spoke on mentoring last summer at the Society of Computed Body Tomography and Magnetic Resonance’s 2018 Meeting, I didn’t expect to start a movement. However, my remarks about not feeling comfortable at my first American College of Radiology (ACR) meeting resonated with one of our ACR staff, Darlene Poucher. Through Darlene’s leadership, we have created ACR’s first Meeting Mentor Program that will connect attendees to make their experience more meaningful.

Back in 2009, I read an editorial in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) by then Editor-in-Chief Bruce Hillman, MD, in which he decried the low attendance at the Convocation, the ceremony during which we confer our new ACR Fellows and our Gold Medalists and International Honorary Fellows receive their awards. I wrote to Bruce that at my first meeting I assumed that – seeing all the people dressed in their finest heading to the ceremony – I surely was not invited. I also remembered having no idea where I could or should sit in the room during the Council sessions.

The ACR Annual meeting provides a unique opportunity to connect with our radiology community from across the country, and I don’t want any attendee to miss out because they feel hesitant about the logistics. Darlene, Catherine Herse and other ACR colleagues created a field in the registration for all ACR 2019 member attendees asking if they wanted a “meeting mentor” or were prepared to mentor a newbie. I expected we’d get maybe 20 or so replies. Well, we are at 200, or about 25 percent of the registered attendees, so far!

I’m delighted to be able to welcome Dr. Candace Potter, a 4th year resident from the University of Massachusetts, as my meeting mentee. I’ve shared with Dr. Potter some of the highlights of the ACR RFS programming, given her some tips on where to sit and hope we can find time for a coffee to get better acquainted.

Thank you to all of you who have signed up to offer your insights and welcome our trainees to our annual gathering. I know it is going to enhance the experience for them, and I’m betting you’ll get a lot out of it, too!

  • Who is mentoring you – or who are you mentoring – at #ACR2019?

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