ACR Bulletin

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Longtime Chair Envisions Bright Future for the Commission on Publications and Lifelong Learning

Communication, collaboration and clarity of vision are the backbones of success.
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I envision continued growth through collaboration and innovation.

—Lori A. Deitte, MD, FACR
June 04, 2024

The ACR Commission on Publications and Lifelong Learning (CoPLL) was formed to meet the professional development needs of radiologists and other radiology professionals, and its members are committed to and passionate about continuous professional development and education

For six years, the Commission has been led by Lori A. Deitte, MD, FACR, who serves as the radiology vice chair of education and the vice president for continuous professional development at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. The ACR Bulletin spoke with Deitte about accomplishments during her tenure, the importance of a committed and tight-knit staff, paying attention to members’ needs and plans in the pipeline.

Why take the job as chair?

I started out in a small private practice group in Northeast Tennessee. After twelve years in private practice, I decided to take the leap into academic radiology and joined the University of Florida (UF) as a faculty member. That is when I found my passion — education! While at UF, I served as the residency program director and the medical student clerkship director. I absolutely loved teaching and mentoring/advising the next generation of physicians and radiologists. During this time, I also became very involved with the Florida Radiological Society and served as the FRS President in 2012. In 2015, I joined the faculty at Vanderbilt as the vice chair of education and became involved with the Tennessee Radiological Society. In 2018, Dr. Geradine McGinty invited me to breakfast at the annual TRS meeting to talk about the future of education at the ACR. A few weeks later, I was asked if I would be interested in serving on the BOC and chairing CoPLL. I knew that Dr. McGinty was an outstanding leader and the incoming chair of the BOC. Without hesitation, I said yes to this opportunity to work with Dr. McGinty in an area that I absolutely loved. At the time, I was also the president of the Association of Program Directors in Radiology (APDR) and heavily engaged in education at the national level. I was thrilled to also have the opportunity to serve the ACR and advance the areas I was, and still am, passionate about.

What were your primary goals for CoPLL?

In 2018, the CoPLL team’s first challenge and opportunity was to identify what would be our “guiding light.” We decided to focus on the three Cs: communication, collaboration and clarity of vision. From the start, our goal was to be inclusive, working with leaders from other ACR commissions on education and professional development intiatives. Collaboration has been front and center over the years, not only in terms of CME sessions, but also at strategy sessions to design the future of ACR education. Our goal, and what we have been successful at, is bringing people together through our offerings, connecting them in a community and empowering them to provide the best radiological care possible for our patients. I have been fortunate to be surrounded by dedicated ACR staff and volunteers who are committed to our mission of providing meaningful education and professional development for our membership — from medical students to radiology residents/fellows and to practicing radiology professionals through retirement. 

We decided to focus on the three Cs: communication, collaboration and clarity of vision.

—Lori A. Deitte, MD, FACR

How important have your supporting actors been over the years?

We have a fantastic staff. Working with the dedicated and innovative staff and volunteers has been one of the highlights of my experience as CoPLL chair. In 2019, we had a CoPLL retreat in Nashville in our Vanderbilt radiology department. The sessions were very engaging and helped us connect and grow as a team.

When I became chair, one of our first goals was to develop a mission or vision roadmap. This was completed prior to our Nashville retreat, which allowed us to explore ways to operationalize our vision through group design thinking and brainstorming sessions. This absolutely strengthened relationships among CoPLL members, and many great ideas came out of that retreat. When the pandemic hit, the foundational relationships we had built were essential to keep our work moving in a positive direction. It was vital that our people were so close-knit and communicated with one another regularly. In 2020, we switched to Zoom calls to further connect with each other and continue to grow our relationships. We decided to start each meeting by sharing our individual “wins.” A win could be anything that we wanted to share – professionally or personally. This helped bring us together as a very effective team. Together we have been able to empower not only our current generation but also a future generation of radiology professionals and leaders.

What are the most notable achievements of CoPLL?

Lifelong learning helps empower radiologists in their practices to provide high-quality patient care and contributes to professional development and fulfillment. We have engaging resources for members including Case in Point®, the ACR Education Center, AIRP®, Radiology-TEACHES, CME sessions at the ACR Annual Meeting and others.

We have accomplished so much together! Our colleagues have earned more than 1,488,700 CME credits from CoPLL programs in the last six years. But our efforts and impact have extended far beyond the number of CME credits earned.

For example, the launch of the ACR Radiology Well-Being Program was a major achievement. The program provides resources and activities to help radiologists, residents and medical students take stock of their own level of well-being. Burnout is a serious problem, often caused by situations outside of someone’s control. The program demonstrated ACR’s awareness of factors that impact well-being. We were also very nimble during COVID. That quick pivot — with AIRP and the ACR Education Center courses and annual meeting sessions all pivoting to virtual formats — was remarkable. We also developed new medical student resources and a new virtual two-week curriculum. We had free virtual offerings on chest imaging, which was of great interest during the pandemic, and we even transformed the previously in-person escape room for medical students into a virtual event. 

We have had CME sessions at the College’s annual meetings since the Commission was formed. There have been Ted Talk-style sessions. CME sessions have focused on future practice management, health equity, well-being, leadership and then in 2024 the focus was on workforce issues. These are timely, important topics. We are listening to what members are saying is important and then working to create resources and provide education around those topics. Over the past six years we also established and fostered external relationships, for example with the Association of Program Directors in Radiology, the Association of University Radiologists and the AMA, among others. These collaborative efforts have been very fulfilling.

Since many of the College’s lifelong learning opportunities provide CME credit, we were happy to be awarded the ACR’s recent reaccreditation with commendation from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) for providing CME. This is the highest-level reaccreditation possible and truly speaks to the quality of the education we provide.

What would you like to see the College and the Commission build on?

The College’s website redesign is an important initiative. Currently, some of the education resources can be challenging to find on the existing site. The website redesign is now underway with the goal of making education and other resources more easily accessible for members. This will improve the user experience and ensure that they are finding everything they need in one stop. We also plan to continue to provide our top-notch publications, the JACR® and the ACR Bulletin. Working on these publications during my time with CoPLL has helped me to appreciate the tremendous value these resources provide to our members. 

What do you envision for the future of the Commission?

I envision continued growth through collaboration and innovation. The education and professional development resources we provide bring people together to promote a sense of community. This level of engagement and connection is at least as important as the learning that is happening. We have an opportunity to bring our members together — to engage them and help them stay on top of all they do. I am thrilled to share that Priscilla J. Slanetz, MD, MPH, a breast imaging radiologist at Boston Medical Center and education leader extraordinaire, is the incoming CoPLL chair. Dr. Slanetz will be a fantastic leader and I am very excited for the future of the Commission with her at the helm.

To contact Chad Hudnall, contact him via email

Download a copy of the new CoPLL publication: A Legacy of Learning (CoPLL Report, 2018-2024). The report highlights six years of activities within the commission — with resources for medical students, residents and practicing radiologists. ACR’s offerings encouraging lifelong learning continue to expand and create opportunities for member involvement. 

Author Chad E. Hudnall,  senior writer, ACR Press