Richard E. Sharpe Jr., M.D., M.B.A., is the new chair of the RSNA Resident and Fellow Committee. RSNA News caught up with Dr. Sharpe to ask him a few questions.
Q What are the most significant issues facing radiology residents and fellows today and how can RSNA help address them?
A Today’s residents and fellows are practicing in one of the most dynamic periods imaginable. Healthcare reform will transform the practice of radiology. The rapid expansion of technology has significantly increased the amount of information that trainees are expected to know. The American Board of Radiology has implemented a paradigm shift in their certification process for trainees completing residency. Also, there has been a proliferation of educational content and there is far more print and electronic content than any one person can assimilate during training.
RSNA assists trainees by providing a combination of value-added resources and creating a “blueprint” that trainees can use to successfully navigate these tumultuous times. RSNA gives trainees focused educational content in the form of online resources and lectures at the annual meeting, such as the Essentials of Radiology series. The RSNA also provides trainee-directed, career-oriented programming, such as the RSNA Residents and Fellows Symposium and makes this available online for trainees who are unable to attend the annual meeting. RSNA also created Fellowship Connect to gather the previously disparate information about radiology fellowships and present them in an easy to use fashion. Finally, there are numerous networking opportunities provided by RSNA, including a trainee-focused reception at the annual meeting.
Q Conversely, what are most significant ways that residents and fellows can contribute to the mission of the RSNA?
A Today’s trainees will quickly become tomorrow’s RSNA leaders. All radiology trainees are encouraged to attend the meeting (for free!). RSNA encourages trainees to speak up and get involved in a variety of ways. Trainees can submit scientific or education abstracts to the annual meeting or participate on committees. As a result of trainees contributing their time and ideas to RSNA, the organization remains vibrant, current and effective. In the last couple of years, via the Resident and Fellow Committee, trainees have made many exciting contributions including the RSNA Residents and Fellows Symposium, Fellowship Connect, expansion of the Residents Lounge at the annual meeting and creation of a brochure that serves as a guide to resident-focused activities at the annual meeting.
Q What is your vision for the RFC and what it can accomplish?
A The Resident and Fellow Committee comprises a solid group of dedicated members in training who are radiology’s future leaders. The committee is well poised to continue to refine its successful projects and has a number of exciting proposals in the works, including an educational portal that would allow trainees to sample the educational content from all across the world and rank them based on their usefulness. By scouring the web for the most useful radiology educational sites and presenting them to trainees, the RSNA will be able to assist trainees in creating a successful and personalized study plan. Additionally, the committee is already working on the career-oriented symposium for trainees at RSNA 2014, and will assist RSNA in utilizing social media to reach out to trainees. Finally, the committee wants to identify emerging trainee leaders and get them involved to the fullest extent. If you or someone you know is interested, please reach out to us.
Q How has involvement with RSNA personally benefited you and your career?
A The RSNA is a tremendous resource that has helped me become the best trained radiologist possible by offering high-yield online and in-person learning opportunities. RSNA also has helped me establish a solid network of friends, colleagues and mentors. By participating in RSNA committees I have been able to understand the larger landscape of the practice of radiology and learn valuable leadership skills. By presenting research at the annual meeting, I have strengthened my research skills and also met people with common interests—after nearly every presentation you can find like-minded people congregating and discussing their shared interests. Be friendly and outgoing at the annual meeting and there is no limit to the benefits that you and your career can receive from RSNA.
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