Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, FACR, chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors, contributed this post.

Your American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Board of Chancellors and Council Steering Committee (CSC), as well as key ACR staff, convened last week to focus on the future of our profession. 700 pages of pre-reading ensured that participants came prepared to share their unique perspectives and experience.

Over four days, the group reviewed detailed financial statements and heard presentations on multiple important topics. Topics of discussion ranged from the impact of proposed changes to reimbursement for Evaluation and Management services that, in a budget neutral Medicare payment system, will result in a significant reduction in reimbursement for radiology and radiation oncology services, to the work that the Commission on Publications and Lifelong Learning is doing to enable evidence-based educational efforts across all the ACR’s work.

We engaged in a scenario planning exercise to prepare for a planned refresh of the ACR’s Strategic Plan in 2020. Scenario planning seeks to help organizations avoid “optimism bias” and become more adaptable in the face of an uncertain future. Potential threats and opportunities identified include innovations in drug and liquid biopsy development that might fundamentally impact the demand for imaging, and integrated diagnostics. The need for ACR to amplify its influence with stakeholders beyond those most familiar to us – like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and Congress – was also apparent. Importantly, scenario planning is not about trying to predict the future but rather to facilitate strategy that allows organizations to be successful whatever happens.

Time spent together in person for face to face interaction and relationship building is critically important to build trust so that we can undertake difficult decisions together as stewards of our organization. The conversations allow us to understand the diversity of our perspectives and practices.

The interactions between the Board and the CSC reinforce the power of our representative governance structure and enable more effective policy making. Dr. Traci Pritchard, attending her first leadership retreat as a member of the CSC, reflected that she felt proud to be part of a committed group of volunteer leaders that is dedicated to serving the membership and the profession. I could not agree more.

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