6 discussions. 218 replies. 56 unique contributors.
By Sudhen B. Desai, MD Winter 2018
The power of SIR Connect (connect.sirweb.org) was never more evident than when the community gathered there to discuss the new American Board of Radiology (ABR) designations for those with the Lifetime DR certificate and the VIR CAQ.
Even if the Open Forum did not necessarily “solve” the issue, it engaged a large number of posters—SIR members and leadership alike. All took part in generally civil discourse and the commentary helped members realize that they were not alone in their confusion and concerns.
Overall, the “New ABR designations” post currently holds the title for the “Thread with the most replies” on SIR Connect since inception. The SIR community spoke, resulting in countless online and sidebar conversations. Young, old and trainees all had opinions on how best to proceed and on the society’s role in that process.
As SIR leaders recognized the concerns, they organized an official response to the ABR. It was enabling to realize that many different levels of SIR leadership were monitoring the discussions and shaping their response to the ABR around the thoughts of members. It is inconceivable that such a response could have been collated and submitted with a looming deadline in the absence of the SIR Connect Open Forum to help facilitate the conversations.
While the ABR response was not the one many discussion participants desired, we should nevertheless take pride that the voices of members were heard. One only need consider the uneasy national discourse currently taking place on many topics to realize that in our relatively small community, discussion is encouraged and all viewpoints are respected—and being heard.
“I check the SIR Connect Open Forum every day and always learn from the lively conversations,” says SIR President-elect M. Victoria Marx, MD, FSIR. “The power of SIR Connect as way to track issues that are important to SIR members was made particularly obvious with ABR’s announcement about the VIR CAQ. It was clear that ABR did not provide stakeholders with enough information about this certification change, and the vigorous outpouring of concern on the Open Forum made it obvious that action was needed.” In direct response, SIR leaders quickly worked with the ABR to develop two interactive webinars and detailed FAQs addressing member questions and concerns.
New issues arise via SIR Connect everyday—complex clinical care questions, new interventional techniques and other concerns related to the Society’s work. But SIR members need never feel alone. As member Steven J. Citron, MD, recently noted, “SIR Connect is one of the best things that SIR has created for our membership. It’s like being at an SIR-sponsored conference and talking to thought-leaders on any subject that we are grappling with, wondering about or need to know about.”
It is quite clear that SIR Connect is our “own” version of social media—part promotion, part connection, part reminiscence, part work. The daily digest of SIR Connect is distributed every day to thousands of members, who peruse the latest updates in a multitude of subject areas.
As our health policy leaders always say, “You cannot have a voice without a seat at the table.” To make SIR Connect your seat at the SIR table, I recommend that you add your voice to the ongoing discussions. Log in to SIR Connect and see what’s important to the IR community today.