Young Radiologists Will Shape the Future Success of our Specialty

PatelAmyAmy K. Patel, MD, a breast radiologist and chair of the ACR Young and Early Career Professional Section, contributed this post. You can connect with her on Twitter @amykpatel.

Now more than ever, our radiology community must support and offer resources to young radiologists who will shape the future of our specialty. During these unprecedented times, I feel it is imperative that we find additional ways to connect and ensure we are working on behalf of and advocating for young radiologists’ best interests.

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Young and Early Career Professional Section (YPS) Executive Committee supports this initiative, and we are striving to engage our demographic this year in novel and innovative ways. For example, we are proud to announce the unveiling of the ACR YPS Webinar Series, an array of webinars throughout the year focusing on timely topics affecting young radiologists in this country. Upcoming webinars include “Job Hunting During an Economic Crisis,” which is in collaboration with the ACR Resident and Fellow Section and the American Association for Women in Radiology, and “Practice Leadership During COVID-19,” in collaboration with the Radiology Leadership Institute®, focusing on young radiologists navigating leadership roles during times of crisis.

The ACR YPS is also proud to partner with Cody Quirk, MD, and The Hounsfield Unit podcast. This podcast will feature bite-sized, meaningful, relevant and honest discussions about topics affecting young radiologists in this country, such as addressing health inequities in our patient populations, wellness, venture capital groups and radiology.

We must equip young radiologists with the tools for success for growth, both professionally and personally. In a time where many focus on the doom and gloom of what the future holds in health care — and particularly for our workforce demographic — we must make a concerted effort to support, mentor and sponsor in any way we can, to overcome the challenges we face and continue to build on the success of our specialty for a brighter tomorrow.

  • Visit the ACR YPS webpage to learn more about the webinar series and find out how you can get further involved.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and join the discussion on Engage (login required).

Empowering Patients, Improving Healthcare

Krishnaraj, ArunArun Krishnaraj, MD, MPH, chair of the ACR Commission on Patient- and Family-Centered Care, and associate professor of Radiology and Medical Imaging at the University of Virginia, contributed this post.

When it comes to providing high-quality patient care, we are all in this together. That belief helps guide the ACR Commission on Patient- and Family-Centered Care (PFCC), which works to ensure that radiologic care is provided in a manner that incorporates the needs, wants and values of our patients and communities.

Over the past five years, numerous PFCC advocates have joined the Commission and formed six critical committees to help radiologists approach the planning, delivery and evaluation of healthcare and encourage partnerships between providers, patients and families. Earlier this week, we were pleased to release our new report, Patient Empowerment: Transforming Patients Into Partners, which highlights the remarkable achievements since the Commission was established in 2015.

One example worth highlighting is the development of Patient-Friendly Summaries of the ACR Appropriateness Criteria®.

The ACR Appropriateness Criteria includes recommendations and information to help providers make the most appropriate imaging or treatment decision for specific medical conditions. The recommendations focus on which imaging tests physicians should, or should not, order based on various patient symptoms, medical histories and health status. The guidelines are reviewed annually by a panel of different medical specialists who take into account the latest research.

The Patient-Friendly Summaries were created by the ACR Appropriateness Criteria Patient Subcommittee in collaboration with the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) to include patients in the conversation. These summaries — which are written by patients, for patients — are intended to help patients understand what imaging tests are most appropriate for their situation, and help ordering physicians and radiologists better communicate with their patients. Recently, the collection reached a milestone of over 50 different clinical scenarios published since its inception.

Our Commission continues to work to increase the involvement of patients and families in their own care while also supporting radiologists and referring providers. We’d love for you to join us. Please visit www.acr.org/PFCCCommission or email PFCC@acr.org to learn more.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, and join the discussion on Engage (login required).

Why You Should Utilize Scenario Planning in Your Practice

norbash_2020Alexander Norbash, MD, MS, FACR, professor and chair of the department of radiology at University of California San Diego Healthcare and co-director of the 2020 Radiology Leadership Institute Summit Spotlight, contributed this post.

Imagine yourself back in summer 2019. You have a large amount of cash in the bank, a generous stock portfolio that is skyrocketing and accumulated vacation time. Knowing what you knew then, perhaps it was reasonable to take a huge amount of money and plan on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa for a photo safari in March 2020, purchase that ultra-performing German racing sedan as a daily driver and buy a beautiful pied-à-terre in Tribeca, which could always become a vacation rental. How would those decisions look now, as we’re still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Clearly, we cannot predict the future with certainty. However, we can imagine across a range of possible futures. As an example, in our personal and professional lives we can picture a dystopian future, a pragmatic future and an exceptionally optimistic future. Even in summer 2019, a bit of caution regarding the 2020 future would have been warranted.

If we use our predictions regarding the future to guide our actions, a single-point forecast will almost invariably disappoint us. Especially if our single-point forecast underlines deficiencies or limitations that we currently possess which will adversely influence our position in the future. We then prepare, learn and invest our energies in shoring up our weaknesses and deficiencies for that single-point future which never actually comes to pass. And all that misguided preparation and energy could have been allocated to constructive steps which could have secured a brighter future had the time, energy and effort been expended to address the real future. A lost opportunity.

The alternative is preparing for a range of possible futures. If there are certain preparations that would be beneficial across a broader range of futures, such as the dystopian, pragmatic and exceptionally optimistic future, then we see the logic in investing and planning on the beneficial preparations which secure a broadly brighter future.

Scenario planning allows us to think outside of the box, across a broad range of potential futures or scenarios, in order to understand which preparations will benefit us across the broad range of potential futures. When we think in these terms, ideally two things come to pass; the futures we plan for are more likely to happen than single-point forecasting, and the proactive measures we take are therefore more likely to be beneficial.

Scenario planning not only teaches us to see the future as a broad range of possibilities that can be addressed, but also results in both adaptability and flexibility of thought that can guide us as we move our practices forward through these uncertain times.

If you’re ready to learn more about how you can apply scenario planning at your practice, I encourage you to attend the 2020 RLI Summit Spotlight. I hope you’ll join me on Sept. 12, where together we’ll further dive into the concepts of scenario thinking, recognize resources that can be used to improve and maintain your leadership skills and engage in targeted breakout sessions exploring real-life cases.

As the healthcare landscape continues to adjust to meet the ever-changing needs of our communities, we must respond by turning challenges into opportunities through scenario planning.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, and join the discussion on Engage (login required).