ACR Bulletin

Covering topics relevant to the practice of radiology

The Pathway to Fellowship

New changes will improve the FACR application process and ensure the honor is available to the many eligible members of the College.
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No career path is identical, and our goal is to ensure Fellows of the College reflect the richness of our membership.

March 12, 2020

Being named a Fellow is one of the highest honors the ACR can bestow on a member. ACR Fellows demonstrate a history of service to the College, organized radiology, teaching, and/or research. Approximately 10% of College members have been awarded this honor.

The Committee on Fellowship Credentials (CFC) measures each candidate’s credentials against the nomination criteria rubric. Under this system, candidates are not in competition with one another and are measured against the outlined criteria. The CFC then forwards its nominations to the BOC for its review and approval.

There are three new changes in the application process for FACR candidates:

  • The minimum number of years of membership has changed from 10 consecutive years post-training to 10 cumulative years post-training. The ACR recognizes that some candidates have had an interruption in their membership for a variety of reasons: moving to a new location/job, childbirth and child-raising, personal or close family members’ serious health issues, and other factors.
  • Professionalism has been incorporated into the application process, the letters of endorsement, and the attestation. Professionalism is one of the six core competencies of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education from when the Council defined professionalism in 2002. This additional component of professionalism has been incorporated into the ACR Fellowship guidance and application documents.
  • The flow of accomplishments achieved in the nomination criteria has been improved — allowing candidates to claim achievements listed under the different years of cumulative membership, carrying these forward as they complete the application. This revision of the criteria ensures that candidates do not miss any of their achievements as they review their adherence in meeting the critical nomination criteria.

The ACR recognizes that some candidates have had an interruption in their membership for a variety of reasons: moving to a new location/job, childbirth and child-raising, personal or close family members’ serious health issues, and other factors.

These changes are intended to make the Fellowship requirements more inclusive of the varying experiences of our members. No career path is identical, and our goal is to ensure Fellows of the College reflect the richness of our membership.

One group of members particularly affected by this change will be military radiologists. These physicians often move around, and it can be challenging for them to be active in their state chapters. That’s an issue that has prevented some from applying for ACR Fellowship in the past. The CFC has now created a channel for military radiologists, bypassing their state chapters (which is an optional membership), as many do not have long enough established contact to develop a state chapter relationship. Military applications are exempt from chapter review and military radiologists can submit their applications directly to the College.

We hope these changes will improve the application process and increase the number of eligible members applying for the FACR. As our specialty and society become more welcoming of different life experiences, the ACR is eager to ensure that ACR Fellowship is available to all members who have demonstrated outstanding service to the ACR, their chapters, organized medicine, clinical research, or training.

Author Robert S. Pyatt Jr., MD, FACR, Chair of the ACR Committee on Fellowship Credentials  Guest Columnist