February 02, 2021

Starting a Young Professional Section Within Your Chapter

Implementing a new state Young Professional Section (YPS) requires a combination of established state organization, a little motivation, and the right combination of timing and luck. I was fortunate to have participated with the Texas Radiological Society (TRS) RFS throughout my residency and enjoyed working with the excellent leaders in this society and their continuous support of residents and young professionals. While ACR and the Texas Medical Association both have robust YPS, young professional representation in the TRS was not established. I believed this group to be a critical section to help transition and continue resident leaders into their early careers. It can be daunting juggling new careers, sometimes in new states, while assuming early career leadership roles. A YPS within a state chapter would be extremely beneficial and provide the support and opportunities that are essential to establishing leadership positions.

I was lucky to have access to established and successful YPS groups in the Texas Medical Association and ACR as guides in how to model our TRS YPS. Most importantly, I was lucky to have such a supportive group of leaders and administration to help get the program off its feet and assist in getting a lot of the leg work accomplished. TRS has already helped hundreds of residents and fellows get involved with leadership, advocacy, and education. It was an easy next step to extend the support to early career professionals to bridge that challenging transition. While setting up the foundation for the YPS required grunt work like applying for the official section, and creating bylaws and a mission statement, the really exciting part was coming up with YPS-related issues important to our group. Many unique issues affect new-in-practice professionals such as student loans, early career guidance, advocacy, and financial management. Additionally, getting other young professionals to participate in leadership roles will pay dividends later in their career where they can be the voice of radiologists and understand the process and importance of advocacy. 

If you are interested in starting a state YPS, I would recommend reaching out to your local state chapter for guidance. With a little hard work and a supportive organization like the ACR, it is a worthwhile cause that will pay off. I have truly enjoyed my experience helping get a state YPS up and running and would implore other young radiologists to do the same.

Stephen Herrmann, MD, is a private practice radiologist in Houston and chair of the TRS YPS section.