ACR Bulletin

Covering topics relevant to the practice of radiology

The FACR Application: Trends and Transparency

The high rate of approved candidates for the FACR designation indicates that members are applying at the appropriate stages of their careers. Candidates are seeking mentorship from chapter fellowship chairs and reviewing the FACR nomination criteria before applying. 
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Chapter leadership, the Committee on Fellowship Credentials and FACR staff are ready to support your FACR professional pursuits.

January 01, 2023

Each January, the application opens for ACR members to apply to become a Fellow of the ACR, an honor that comes with an FACR designation in their credentials. Early-career members often wonder what criteria are needed to be met to achieve an FACR designation. The following descriptions will review the best time to apply for the FACR, based on your current achievements when compared to the nomination criteria, and provide clarity around the application process.

Eligibility 101

To start, an FACR applicant must have been an ACR member for a minimum of 10 post-training years. That minimum is cumulative and permits two or more periods of membership with lapses between them. Next, the application must reflect achievements by membership-year group according to the FACR nomination criteria and include at least two letters of endorsement from current ACR Fellows.

The Importance of Mentoring

Through support from ACR chapter leaders, members can be guided to enhance their careers and contribute to radiology beyond the scope of employment. These mentors (chapter presidents, fellowship chairs, etc.), as well as current ACR Fellows, may recommend available leadership positions to strengthen an FACR application. The likelihood of being approved to become an ACR Fellow increases when current achievements are in sync with the nomination criteria.

Approved Yet Deferred?

If an FACR application is approved, the member is invited to the next convocation ceremony at the ACR Annual Meeting to receive the FACR award. If the application is approved yet deferred, the
member is invited to a postdated convocation once the membership years and achievements are in line with the FACR nomination criteria. Most often, these members applied marginally ahead of the
nomination criteria requirements. With additional experience in continued achievements, the member does not receive a rejection and is not required to submit a new FACR application later once
positioned within that nomination criteria year group.

Across each of the five membership year groups within the nomination criteria rubric, from 10 to 11 years up to 20-plus years, a five-year average shows about 14% of all candidates are deferred. On average, the majority of deferred candidates applied one year group ahead of current achievements, such as applying within the national domain among 12-14 year candidates with 13 years of membership while having regional achievements which are reflected in the 15-17 year group. Deferred candidates annually attest to continue similar achievements until participating in a postdated
convocation. During the convocation, all Fellows are inducted equally without any designation of having been previously deferred. 

The Timing of an Application Submission

The bar to achieve this professional goal is based upon years of ACR membership. Examples of ideal timing would be a 13-year member with nationally recognized achievements or an 18-year member with state-level achievements.

The high bar for the group with 10 to 11 years of membership requires international or major national achievements. Candidates with 12 to 14 years of membership experience must demonstrate
an application reflecting national achievements.

Snapshot of 2022 Application Results

Most FACR candidates are applying at the correct stage of their careers, which contributes to a high approval rate. In 2022, there were 179 submitted FACR applications. With 139 approved and 32
deferred, 18% of the total candidates were deferred for continued achievements, according to the nomination criteria, with most deferred candidates being early-career members. This high acceptance rate and low deferred percentage demonstrate that members are applying at the right stages of their extraordinary careers for this highly distinguished membership award.

Next Steps

You are encouraged to reach out for mentor support to guide the optimal timeliness for submitting your future FACR application. Begin networking with current ACR Fellows at chapter and ACR meetings for mentor opportunities. Chapter leadership, the Committee on Fellowship Credentials and FACR staff are ready to support your FACR professional pursuits.

Author Julie Huxsoll  MS, ACR member services supervisor