If you’re an avid reader like me, you probably have a pile of digital or hardcopy books on your nightstand. While keeping up with my reading can be a challenge, an engaging book can still capture and hold my attention late into the night.
Since I love a good story, a tweet from ACR RFS Chair Daniel Ortiz, MD, recently caught my eye. Dr Ortiz tweeted, “Successful groups devote a surprising amount of time telling their own story, reminding each other precisely what they stand for — then repeat it ad infinitum.” The quote was from The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups, a book by Daniel Coyle.
At the ACR, we have long recognized the importance of telling the stories of what we stand for, and I’m delighted that a collection of these powerful stories accompanies this month’s Bulletin. I hope they’ll find their way onto your nightstand and that you’ll share them widely.
In this issue, and in the accompanying Imaging 3.0® case study supplement, you’ll read about radiologists like Melissa M. Chen, MD, Christie M. Malayil Lincoln, MD, and Ryan K. Lee, MD, MBA, who are leading change by demonstrating the value of appropriate imaging and collaborating with referring physicians. You’ll be inspired by the journey of Sabiha Raoof, MD, who drew from her experiences with a devastating breast cancer diagnosis to become a health system leader and patient advocate.
I encourage trainees to consider the work of David C. Mihal, MD, who enabled patients to review their results with a radiologist during his residency. Shlomit A. Goldberg-Stein, MD, conducted foundational work to engage her colleagues in the transition to structured reporting. Samir H. Patel, MD, FACR, undertook a creative approach to recognizing the value of non-interpretive work. These are all compelling examples of how we can adapt as a profession for the good of the patients we serve. Finally, if you haven’t watched the Imaging 3.0 case study video about Elkhart General Hospital’s patient-centered thoracic oncology clinic (also an initiative of Dr. Patel’s), I encourage you to check it out at acr.org/PatientForward. It’s incredibly moving.
When we started the Imaging 3.0 initiative back in 2012, we could not have imagined that we would collect over 100 stories of radiologists who are enabling more patient-centered, high-value imaging care. I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for our Imaging 3.0 staff team to select just seven for this supplement, and I hope you’ll check out the many others available. I salute the work of all of you who, with your colleagues, have submitted your stories to inspire our community.
While some of the threats we faced at the beginning of this project are unchanged, others (like the disruptive opportunities of AI) were barely on the horizon then. The lesson I take from this is that our core purpose must remain constant. The stories we tell must clearly articulate ACR’s core values of Leadership, Integrity, Quality, and Innovation. Those themes must endure even as our stories evolve.
Branding is a concept that some are uncomfortable applying to medicine. However, to me, our brand is how we articulate what we stand for and the stories we tell about what’s important to us. As branding expert Rosemarie Ryan said at the 2016 ACR Annual Meeting, “Invest in your story and the experience around it. That’s what creates true differentiation, meaning, and value, for you and your patient… that is what I call a brand.”
Our brand assumes critical importance when we have to counter misinformation about the value of mammography screening or try to convince CMS to pay for CT colonography. Our brand and the authenticity of our values are key to our ability to counter opposition from other physician groups to the implementation of the PAMA mandate. The stories we tell about our commitment to our patients are essential to our work on enabling appropriate data science solutions through the ACR’s Data Science Institute™. Those stories remind us of our sacred oath to those we serve and, yes, we must repeat them ad infinitum.