Michael Hood, MD, PGY-5 at Wake Forest Radiology, contributed this piece.
As I walked into the American College of Radiology® (ACR®) headquarters just outside of DC in Reston, Virginia, I felt a mixture of excitement and curiosity about what lay ahead. I recently had the incredible opportunity as the recipient of the E. Stephen Amis, Jr. MD, Fellowship in Quality and Safety to meet the people behind the ACR Commission on Quality and Safety. The fellowship was invaluable — it expanded my knowledge of quality and safety initiatives in radiology practice, introduced me to important contacts and resources, and ultimately left me feeling energized about the future of radiology and the critical role that the ACR plays in advancing our profession.
Throughout the week, we had the chance to delve deeply into some of the more granular aspects of radiology quality and safety, including practice parameters, accreditation programs, quality measurements, data registries and reporting standards. I gained a newfound appreciation for the importance of standardization and quality assurance in our field. I was struck multiple times by the extent of the ACR in these areas, often thinking, “The ACR does this too?” Although some of these roles can go unobserved by the general public, they are vital to ensuring that radiology remains a leader in the healthcare industry.
I also had the pleasure of meeting the personnel of the Commission on Government Relations in Washington, DC. They shared great insights into the ACR lobbying work and the necessity of pushing for our profession at the national level. I was gratified to see how the ACR contributes to the development of healthcare legislation and the promotion of radiologists' interests nationwide.
For me, meeting with the ACR staff behind all these initiatives was the highlight of the fellowship. These people are the real deal! They were full of energy and information, and they were delighted to share it with me. Seeing how dedicated they were to making a difference made me appreciate this opportunity even more.
I was inspired by their clear dedication to ACR members, especially the investment in new members like myself. Even as a young professional, I feel welcomed and appreciated. The ACR provides radiology with a powerful voice that engages with government, hospitals, financial organizations, and other medical disciplines. This early exposure and sponsorship makes me feel “on-boarded” — I understand better the scope of our organization, and I feel empowered to contribute and help to shape the future of our profession.
In conclusion, the Amis Fellowship was a fantastic experience that left me feeling inspired and energized about the future of radiology. I understand what a vital role the ACR plays in ensuring national quality standards and advancing the interests of our profession. Any early career radiologists should get involved and take advantage of the many opportunities it provides for professional development! I'm grateful to have had this opportunity, and I am so looking forward to continued engagement with the ACR in the future.
If you’re a radiology or radiation oncology resident with a passion for quality improvement and an interest in learning more about ACR initiatives and resources, I highly recommend checking this year’s Amis Fellowship opportunity. Applications are open through May 31.