ACR Bulletin

Covering topics relevant to the practice of radiology

The Best of Intentions

The ACR will continue to serve as a strong foundation for radiologists as they re-establish their practice referrals and build new and stronger relationships.
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I am optimistic that the rest of the medical community will view radiology and the ACR as a valued and reliable partner during this pandemic.

—Howard B. Fleishon, MD, MMM, FACR
June 01, 2020

Every ACR physician volunteer starts their term with the best of intentions — excited to build on the foundation of one of the most influential organizations in medicine, eager to reinforce the good work of past leaders, and keen to introduce proposals to guide the organization forward. As the incoming chair of the ACR BOC, I certainly had a list of optimistic plans and goals. Then came COVID-19.

The pandemic has changed our world. Each of us has been affected, directly or through our family and friends. Our personal lives and routines have been rerouted. New terms such as social distancing and elbow bump have become part of our daily vocabulary. As with other historic events, such as 9/11, the Challenger explosion, and the Great Recession, we will always remember our shared experiences during this crisis.

The impact on our professional lives has been equally unprecedented. The postponement of annual meetings by multiple organizations has put our professional networking schedules on hold. We have been forced to move into a world of virtual conferencing — linking with friends and colleagues online. Every radiology practice, department, and corporation has faced financial pressures. For some, especially smaller practices, the pressures have reached existential levels. Staffing challenges have been intensified by the unknown: changing guidelines, exposure risks, furloughs, and practice uncertainty.

The ACR quickly established a Coronavirus Resource Center ( to compile resources to help the radiology community battle COVID-19 and strengthen practices during the pandemic. The resource center has had a profound impact — generating over 300,000 page views cumulatively since the first page launched in March. In addition, our global partners have reinforced the resource center’s reach by reproducing the composite of webpage information. The ACR has been coordinating efforts with multiple societies such as the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the Society of Breast Imaging, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, and the RSNA to establish position papers for our members, referring physicians, and patients (check out some of these at

As with radiology practices, the College has been financially impacted by the pandemic. Difficult choices will have to be made over the coming weeks to balance our charge to our members and patients, along with our commitment to financial sustainability. While I understand that your focus right now is on your patients, the place you practice, and your personal network, I urge those of you who have yet to renew your membership to do so today at I am truly honored that so many of you have spent a significant amount of time and money investing in our profession and our College, but now more than ever, the success of our future depends on your continued support.

Not surprisingly, the crisis has presented an incredible dynamic in the political arena. Unprecedented stimulus packages are creating legislative and funding opportunities that will influence radiology for years to come. Policy issues including scope of practice, licensing, self-referral laws, CDS/PAMA implementation, and telemedicine will require constant vigilance and lobbying. Proposals for small business loans, analysis of the role of imaging in the diagnosis of COVID-19, and practice support may apply to radiologists. ACR is your most credible representative for the profession on Capitol Hill, and our economics and government relations staff is working tirelessly to ensure radiology is at the table.

I am confident that we will get through this crisis together. I am optimistic that the rest of the medical community will view radiology and the ACR as a valued and reliable partner during this pandemic. The ACR will continue to serve as a strong foundation for us all as we re-establish our practice referrals and build new and stronger relations with each other to achieve our best intentions and advance the science and practice of radiology for our members and patients.

Author Howard B. Fleishon, MD, MMM, FACR,  chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors