Spring 2016 • Volume 35 • Number 2

Susan Johnston Ackerman, M.D
Professor of Radiology
Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs
Director of Ultrasound


This quarter’s newsletter features updates on the ACR meeting.  Ongoing initiatives include establishing an annual Faculty Development Program for Women at some of our AAWR sponsored meetings.  Some of our members in training are working to establish social media and update our website. Let us know if you are interested in working on this project.
AAWR is sponsoring a session on negotiation at the ASTRO meeting in October. Again this year at RSNA, AAWR R & E Foundation plans to have a President’s Celebration dinner on Sunday evening, November 27th. This is in conjunction with our first annual campaign and in celebration of Marie Curie’s birthday on November 7th. 

As always, I appreciate your comments and suggestions and would like to hear from you.

Susan Ackerman


AAWR at ACR 2016 Annual Meeting

Lucy Spalluto, MD 

The AAWR hosted an early morning “Coffee and Muffins” meeting led by Valerie Jackson, MD, FACR.  This informal gathering provided attendants with an opportunity to hear Dr. Jackson speak candidly about her experiences in academia, as a department chairman, and as the Executive Director of the ABR.  She openly discussed the challenges she has faced and the opportunities available to women in radiology. 

This year the AAWR sponsored educational session at the ACR meeting focused on Leadership and Career Transitions in Radiology and Radiation Oncology.  The session offered a chance for multiple speakers from various backgrounds to offer anecdotal experience on the transitions they have faced in their careers.  The speakers and topics discussed at this year’s sessions were:

·  Lucy Spalluto, MD - From Private Practice to Academics – Lessons Learned
Amy Campbell, MD - From Academics to Private Practice – Lessons Learned
Geraldine McGinty, MBA, MD, FACR - What it Takes to Get Ahead in Private Practice
Cheri Canon, MD, FACR - What it Takes to Get Ahead in Academics

The Women’s Caucus was extremely well attended and will be an important forum moving forward to bring women’s issues to the forefront of discussion at the ACR meeting.  The ACR embraces diversity and inclusion and through the work of Dr. Katarzyna Macura and the Commission for Women and General Diversity, great progress is being made.  I encourage AAWR members to consider becoming more involved.  Several state chapters have initiated committees for women and diversity.  The more women become involved at both the state and national level, the stronger our voice will become.

A Female Faculty Development Program for Radiology
Lucy B. Spalluto, MD, Stephanie E. Spottswood, MD, MSPH


The results of The 2015 ACR Workforce Survey confirm that women remain underrepresented in leadership positions in radiology. Within the aggregate of academic and private practice, 14% of all males are leaders and only 7% of all females are leaders.1

National data reveal that within academic radiology practices, women are underrepresented among senior faculty ranks, are less likely to hold tenured positions, and are less likely to be in departmental leadership roles.2 Among radiology full professors, only 19% are female, and among all radiology department chairs, only 16% are female.3,4

Although women and men are represented in equal numbers at the assistant professor level, women do not advance through the ranks at the same pace as men, and many remain at the assistant professor level for their entire careers.5

The reasons for these disparities are unclear, and are likely multifactorial. It is reasonable to assume that when environments are designed for people to succeed, such disparities in academic advancement should diminish.

Academic advancement of women is, of course, important for personal career satisfaction, but has benefits for our profession and for the health of our patients. Research on race, gender and partnership between patients and physician revealed that improved cross-cultural communication and access to a diverse group of physicians yields higher quality of care and better health outcomes.6 From an institutional perspective, adequate female representation in the higher ranks is needed to maintain institutional diversity of perspective and talent, which ultimately contribute to organizational success. Cultivating a more diverse leadership with female representation is critical to improve problem-solving techniques, effectiveness of education methods, and quality of service.5

The Vanderbilt Department of Radiology acknowledges the lack of women in upper academic ranks and in leadership roles and supports a Women in Radiology initiative that promotes a departmental culture supportive of career advancement of female clinicians.  A key component of this initiative is our Female Faculty Development Program designed with the goal of developing knowledgeable, successful, confident women prepared to achieve career success and assume leadership positions.

Read Full Article 

Mixed Signals

Boost your emotional intelligence to improve your relationships and upgrade your career.
Reprinted with premission from the ACR
By Meghan Edwards, digital content specialist for the ACR Bulletin

What qualities lead to success in business? The average response might be a high IQ or keen insight into upcoming trends.

But what about the less obvious answers, such as relating to your customers or letting your staff know how much they’re appreciated? These actions fall under emotional intelligence (EI), also called emotional quotient. According to Perry S. Gerard, MD, FACR, director of nuclear medicine and vice chair of radiology at Westchester Medical Center in Westchester, N.Y., these skills can actually be more important than your academic or problem-solving intelligence.

Making Meaning

Let’s take a step back first. What is EI? It may sound like something a therapist or teacher might use, but EI is actually a valuable skillset for anyone, whether you’re looking to be a leader or not, says Gerard. “Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, identify, manage, and express your emotions as well as those of others. It’s the ability to relate and respond well to others. EI shapes how you function in a social setting,” he says.

Richard B. Gunderman, MD, FACR, the Chancellor’s Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, and Medical Humanities and Health Studies at Indiana University, adds, “Although ‘intelligence’ in the name suggests EI is something an individual innately has, EI is a skillset that you develop and work on throughout your life. And it’s every bit as important as problem-solving abilities.”

Gunderman notes that EI is somewhat nebulous — there is no easy way to evaluate or measure someone’s EI. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. “The attention directed to EI has taught us that IQ isn’t everything. EI allows us to predict how individuals are going to function in their relationships, work or otherwise,” he says.

Understanding Others

In today’s changing health systems, physicians will need EI to navigate interactions with colleagues, patients, and administrators. “If you are able to fully understand your own values, strengths, and motivations as well as those of others, you will be more likely to succeed,” says Colin J. O’Brien, MD, radiologist at Corridor Radiology in Coralville, Iowa.

As health care continues to accelerate toward value-based payments, maintaining relationships with patients and referring physicians is vital, adds O’Brien. Understanding the emotional states of your patients and referring physicians translates to a wealth of positive outcomes for both patient and physician. Conveying physician empathy improves patient satisfaction and even correlates with fewer medical errors.1 Also, health care professionals who show empathy and take time to read their patients’ emotions improve their own lives as well — showing mindfulness and empathy combats depression, mental exhaustion, and other burnout-related effects.2

“Empathy and trust are important in any health care relationship. In order to create that bond, you need to be a good listener, have good situational awareness, and be confident in the advice you give,” says O’Brien.

“I practice using EI every day at my practice. It’s vastly important for physicians treating pediatric patients. Parents have a lot of questions, and understanding when I need to open the conversation to their questions and concerns helps build trust and satisfaction,” adds Gerard. “That’s EI at work — you can tell when patients appear confused or concerned. The same goes for referring physicians and their questions.”

Managing Conflict

It’s also important to exercise EI among your staff and in business. To be a good leader, you need to be attuned to the emotional states of those in your room. Understanding how your staff is feeling and reacting appropriately can help you in your practice or department. “Think about the difference between bosses or chairs you may have had throughout your lifetime. The ones who are successful love teamwork, have positive energy, and are able to express themselves. They can successfully navigate social situations,” says Gunderman.

For example, perhaps one of your staff is unhappy at work. Having strong EI can help you identify that there is an issue. Perhaps you notice in body language or pinpoint a certain tone in conversations. Practicing EI can help you correctly identify what that body language or tone means. A brusque tone may not mean that the individual is angry at you or is purposely trying to disrupt the work environment — they might be depressed or frustrated with an aspect of their job or personal life.

From there, you’ll be able to understand what the employee needs or know how to approach the person and the situation. Maybe your employee needs to feel more appreciated at work, and so you make the time to tell them so. Or maybe you realize members of your team need to feel more fulfilled in their work so you encourage them to explore other parts of your practice, such as more patient interactions or participation on a committee.

“EI helps me manage and recognize conflicts in my staff that may occur around me. If there is an issue among my patients, staff, or referrers, EI helps me recognize it early. I can read how the people in the room are feeling and react appropriately,” says Gerard.

"If you are able to fully understand your own values, strengths, and motivations as well as those of others, you will be more likely to succeed.” — Colin J. O’Brien, MD

Identifying Emotions

EI can be helpful in more traditional business setting as well, such as negotiation. “One of the keys to negotiating is a firm understanding of both your own goals and what the other party’s goals are. You need to make sure you acknowledge and redirect your negative impulses during the entire process,” Gunderman explains.

“For example, one of the dominant emotions during negotiating tends to be fear — what if you make a mistake? What if you do not accomplish your goals? If you let that emotion take over and dominate your thoughts, you may end up selling your own position short or making compromises that will ultimately be detrimental to your group. The same thing can happen in the reverse. You don’t want to appear overconfident because that can cause negative reactions in the other party or blunders on your part.”

If you recognize that you may react negatively during the process, Gunderman advises you sit down beforehand and write out the grounds for how you’re feeling. What might provoke this response, and how might you avoid it? “Sitting down and making a list can often help us tame our feelings. This way, we’re not dominated by one perspective.”

Exercising Skills

Just like other skillsets, EI needs to be learned and developed. But how do you do that? O’Brien recommends taking inventory of your own thoughts and actions. “Learn to identify situations that tend to cause self-defeating emotions. Try to avoid those situations in the future while playing to your own strengths, or take time to get emotions under control when the context is unavoidable,” he says. O’Brien also recommends listening. “Listening skills are integral for good emotional intelligence. Practice your listening skills and pay attention to the context that individuals are speaking in. What might be causing them to feel the way they do or react in the way they are? Not only does it strengthen your relationship with others because you are working to understand their situation better, but it’s an easy way to begin,” he advises.

Gunderman adds, “Next time you’re in a committee meeting and you find your attention wandering, set yourself to the challenge of finding a single word to characterize the perceived emotional state of each person around the table. Simply putting the correct name of your or someone else’s emotional state is a big deal. The more you do so, the better you will be at identifying how people are feeling. And the better you are at that, the more successful you will be in all of your relationships.”


AAWR Events at RSNA Deadline Nov 8th!!

Monday, November 28, 2016
AAWR Business meeting: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Tuesday, November 29, 2016
AAWR Presidential Luncheon: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Wednesday, November 30, 2016
AAWR MIT Speed Mentoring: 10:30am. There is no cost but you must
AAWR Residents luncheon: 12:00pm - 1:00pm.

Member: $40
In Training Member: $15
Member: $45
Register for AAWR Events Here


Kudos and Member News

AAWR congratulates our members that were included in the 2016 Class of ACR fellows.
Susan J Frank, MD
Lisa Horton Lowe, MD
Barbara L McComb, MD
Tejas S Mehta, MD
Marcia E Murakami, MD


Share Your Member News!! 

AAWR members are invited to share news and updates on themselves or fellow members. This is a great opportunity to publicize awards, achievements, promotions, or praise another member's accomplishments.  Member News will be published in the AAWR quarterly FOCUS Newsletter. Please include a short paragraph detailing the accomplishment. Pictures/headshots are also welcome.  Information you wish to share can be sent to info@aawr.org. With the subject line “Member News”.  

The AAWR is pleased to welcome its newest members that joined the Association between 
April 2016 - July 30

Ms. Farzana Ali
Dr. Eman Alqahtani
Ms. Samyuktha Balabhadra
Dr. Kimberly Beavers
Ashley Chorath
Dr. Sheilah Curran-Melendez
Ms. Neena Davisson
Dr. Devon DiVito
Ms. Florence Doo
Dr. Erin Gomez
Yoona    Ho
Dr. Kathleen Jacobs
Dr. Stephanie Jo
Ms. Katherine Lantz
Dr. Meaghan Magarik
Dr. Kirti Magudia
Dr. Melissa Manzer
Ms. Julia Mario
Dr. Wahida Rahman
Dr. Heidi Ramos
Dr. Faezeh Razjouyan
Renga samy
Dr. Faezeh Sodagari
Ms. Michelle Tran
Nneka    Udechukwu
Dr. Lillian Xiong


Chief Editor
 Dr Lucy B Spalluto

Administrative Editor
Michele Wittling
Stephanie Huppert