I expected the fellowship to be challenging, with long days and a myriad of focused events. My experience was that the RSNA editorial process was comprehensive, well orchestrated, and surprisingly efficient. I was both physically and mentally tired at the end of many days but always felt that I had learned a great deal.
I expected the fellowship to be provocative, with a questioning and critical nature. What I learned was a tremendous appreciation of the complexities of the editorial process and the professional, deliberate, and considerate strategies for dealing with contentious issues. Many of these issues were situational, such as with an individual author or reviewer, and some were long-standing, such as with manuscript processing times. Nothing was trivialized or ignored. Discussions were open and frank, and I was made to feel in every way part of the inner workings of the organization. I did not feel like information was being withheld or altered in any way. At times these discussions were surprising, other times sobering, but there was always a tremendous and enduring sense of satisfaction.
I was expecting to see many aspects of the editorial and publication process, some of which I did not believe were important or interesting. However, I gained an honest appreciation of the necessary role that each aspect of the editorial and publication process provides for the end product, the advancement of science. The time in those areas I thought I would be least interested in actually ended up being some of the most valuable.
I expected to meet dozens of individuals and would not have been surprised if many of these meetings were only a casual acknowledgment of my presence. What I found was that everyone I met was a committed and hard-working part of the system and welcomed the chance to share his or her experience and expertise with me. Universally, people who deservedly held their roles in highest regard surrounded me. These are good people. Their commitment, I think, is perhaps best illustrated by the fact that many of these people have been doing this for a very long time.
I expected this experience to have a great deal of personal benefit, including making me a better reviewer, a better writer, and in many ways a liaison between departmental and institutional individuals and editorial staffs. I felt selfish about this, as I recognized this fellowship would require a lot of sacrifice by both my colleagues and my family. My own concerns about the time away were solely my concerns, and I was well supported. The month passed very quickly and was a rich and comprehensive experience.
Finally, I expected to establish and develop a greater relationship with the organization, in particularly the editorial offices of Radiology and RadioGraphics. What I found, and the greatest tribute to the experience, were a great many friendships.