Jamaal Benjamin, MD, PhD, Chair of the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Resident and Fellow Section (RFS) Executive Committee, contributed this post.

Undoubtedly, 2020 was a tumultuous year. The stressors of the COVID-19 pandemic were magnified as radiology residents across the county were forced to adapt to ongoing challenges. Throughout this time, the ACR RFS Executive Committee has engaged in important advocacy work to support the over 9,000 ACR radiology and radiation oncology residents and fellows across the country. I’d like to take this time to share some of our biggest advocacy efforts and accomplishments from the past year.

When radiology residents were faced with the uncertainty of if and when board examinations would take place, the ACR RFS took this as an opportunity to advocate on behalf of residents. The ACR RFS was instrumental in leading an effort, unifying 17 different organization and executive committees representing the various groups within radiology. Ultimately, our efforts resulted in the formation of the Multispecialty Early Radiologic Career Coalition (MERC). Through the efforts of the ACR RFS and MERC Coalition with the American Board of Radiology, virtual remote examinations for initial certification examination were successfully implemented for the first time in February 2021.

This year, the Education and Medical Student Subcommittees spearheaded the inaugural ACR RFS Medical Student Symposium. With nearly 500 registrants to the symposium, we are extremely proud and consider this initiative to be an overwhelming success that supports our function to interact with medical students and highlight the exciting aspects of radiology to our future generations.

The past year has presented numerous challenges in both how and where we learn and train. Several radiology residents in the United States and Canada have reached out to ACR RFS regarding the American Institute for Radiology Pathology (AIRP) Case submission process and requirements. Specifically, a case submission process that could be tedious in the best of scenarios has been made even more difficult in the setting of a global pandemic. The ACR RFS is soliciting feedback on ACR Engage from residents in an attempt to make the process more user-friendly while also maintaining maximal educational benefit. AIRP is working with the RFS to address its concerns. Stay tuned for more updates on this important topic.

Navigating the job market is a complex and stressful process for young radiologists entering clinical practice. This process has become fraught with the advent of corporatization and the influence of private equity. In response to concerns of our members and in collaboration with the councilors of the Young and Early Career Professional Section of the ACR, the RFS councilors co-sponsored a resolution to the ACR Council asking for shared decision making and transparency in contract negotiations for non-partner/partnership track associates regarding all pertinent aspects of possible transfer or sale of a practice. We look forward to providing more updates on the status of the resolution.

Despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the ACR RFS remains committed to developing and distributing trainee-specific resources and policies related to leadership, advocacy, quality, economics and education. If you’re interested in serving as a leader in these efforts, please consider running for our 2021 RFS Executive Committee.

  • Learn more about the open positions on the 2021 RFS Executive Committee — and volunteer to serve today.

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