Each year, one staff radiologist is selected for the Bruce J. Hillman, MD, Fellowship in Scholarly Publishing, which provides a concentrated experience in medical editing, journalism, and publishing for a physician interested in pursuing an aspect of medical journalism as a part of their career. Typically, the fellowship involves hands-on experience at ACR’s headquarters in Reston, Va., as well as a trip to New York City to spend time with the JACR®’s publisher, Elsevier.
This year, due to COVID-19, the fellowship was carried out virtually for the first time. The Bulletin spoke with Anand K. Narayan, MD, PhD, a member of the breast imaging faculty and Diversity Officer of the MGH Radiology Department and Co-Chair of the MGH Radiology Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee at Massachusetts General Hospital, about his experience as the first virtual Hillman fellow.
How effective was the fellowship experience in a virtual setting?
The JACR has become an innovative scholarly publication, from increasing its digital footprint to expanding the types of manuscripts it presents to readers. It makes sense that in the wake of COVID-19, the experience had to move to a virtual format and become a fellowship of the future.
In an ideal world, you would first meet people in person during your fellowship. Once the pandemic hit, I didn’t know how this was all going to unfold, so I’m grateful to the journal for putting so much time into making this a really useful educational experience for me. Despite the fellowship taking place virtually, there were so many opportunities to meet people from different areas of the publishing process. I was exposed to different perspectives and an in-depth view of all of the various aspects of academic publishing, from start to finish.
Why should radiology researchers and educators to apply for the fellowship?
For those who write articles for the JACR — and for those who submit articles to other research journals and scientific publications — the fellowship gives you an in-depth look at how the entire publishing process occurs. You get to meet leaders in radiology research like Ruth C. Carlos, MD, MS, FACR, JACR editor-in-chief, and Christoph I. Lee, MD, MS, MBA, JACR deputy editor, who are dedicated to the future of academic publishing. It’s been a tremendous learning experience for me as someone who’s interested in scholarly publications.
It makes sense that in the wake of COVID-19, the experience had to move to a virtual format and become a fellowship of the future.
Do you have any advice for those applying for the 2021 fellowship?
I would advise applicants to think about what they hope to get out of the experience, to really consider their personal interest in scholarly publications and how the fellowship could maximize that interest. If you really want to get involved with the journal — not just from the perspective of writing articles — the fellowship presents a great opportunity. With the ongoing health crisis, I don’t know what format the fellowship will be in for next year’s candidate, but my sincere hope is that applicants will recognize that it is an incredibly high-value experience, whether it’s virtual or in person.
Which journal projects are you looking forward to in 2021?
I’m excited about the 2021 Special Issue on Health Equity, spearheaded by co-editors Melissa A. Davis, MD, MBA, assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine, and Efrén J. Flores, MD, Officer of community health improvement in the Radiology Department at Massachusetts General Hospital. It’s going to be an incredibly timely contribution in the movement to make our specialty more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. The issue will be a combination of articles, reviews, and commentaries from a variety of perspectives. It will be a great resource for radiology departments and practices looking for ways to increase health equity and diversify their own workplace environments.