I have been a member of the ACR since 1998, and my membership is more important to me today than ever. Why am I a member? In short, because ACR people are my people. At the ACR, I feel supported. I feel heard and respected. I feel represented. And I feel valued.
Together, we are leading in the arenas of governmental advocacy and economics. Together, we are focused on standards for quality and safety for the profession. Together, we are preparing the next generation of radiology professionals to practice and lead.
The professions in our radiology family are facing a series of challenges. We face annual cuts to physician reimbursement on Capitol Hill. Scope creep threatens the quality of the care we provide to our patients. Workforce shortages across the field are increasing despite a significant increase in medical student interest in our specialty. Each of these hurdles may seem daunting. Working together, we can overcome all of them.
At the ACR, my voice matters and so does yours.
For starters, the ACR serves to amplify our voices in the public media and on Capitol Hill. The efforts of an ACR-led coalition of more than 100 physician and non-physician organizations resulted in savings to radiology of $437 million for 2023. In the last three years (2021–2023), the ACR’s efforts in Washington to mitigate proposed Medicare payment reductions have saved radiology more than $1.6 billion in proposed cuts. And the ACR is fighting again this year to mitigate reductions for the future.
Our ACR member dues make this advocacy possible. In fact, 75% of our member dues go directly toward government advocacy and programs that support our economics efforts. In my opinion, the benefits of ACR advocacy in the arenas of economics and government relations far outweigh the cost of membership. The single most important action you can take to support these efforts is to renew and maintain your membership.
At the ACR, my voice matters and so does yours. We are unique among radiology organizations with a governance structure that includes a representative legislative branch, the ACR Council. This democratic process gives each of us as members a say in ACR policy and our practice parameters and technical standards through our state chapters, subspecialty societies, government affairs arm, and YPS and RFS representatives at the annual ACR Council meeting.
As an ACR member, I am also a member of my state chapter, the Minnesota Radiological Society. At both the state and national levels, the ACR and our chapters offer the opportunity to connect with other radiologists on issues that matter. I love hearing what members are interested in and reading their insights on Engage, our members-only online discussion forum. I truly appreciate all those who participate in the discussions of the latest hot topics.
One of the most rewarding aspects of my ACR membership has come from participating in many volunteer opportunities. Volunteering on committees and serving as a councilor have allowed me to learn from other radiology leaders and develop my own leadership skills. These opportunities also offer the chance to add my voice to important discussions. For those who have busy schedules, there are new opportunities for micro-engagement. These are short-term roles and tasks that could take as little as a few minutes to complete. Look for more about these emerging opportunities in the coming months.
Whether you are a diagnostic or interventional radiologist, radiation oncologist, nuclear medicine physician, medical physicist or trainee, there is a place at the ACR for you. The ACR empowers all members through programs for specialty and general practitioners and for academic physicians like myself as well as those in private practice, working for national practices, conducting teleradiology, handling consulting work or contributing to the profession through a hybrid of various models.
The ACR is focused on me, on you, on our practices and on our patients. The ACR is focused on all of us in our radiology family.
I look forward to joining with you and “our people” at the ACR to create a future that enables us all to thrive by working together.