Ralph Lieto, MS, FACR
I hope that all of you are getting back to some semblance of normal family and work routines. The past year has been unprecedented in its impact on family, practice of radiology, and country. However, we still need to remain vigilant in the near term and to remember to wash hands, maintain distance and wear masks in large indoor gatherings.
The summer has been busy with the continued planning for our MRS Centennial Celebration on October 22-23, 2021. We are still optimistic that there will be no difficulty in hosting our first face-to-face meeting in over 18 months. This is consistent with RSNA and several other radiological organizations that have begun to renew their annual meetings with their membership. NOW is the time to register for our Centennial. Go to the website – https://michigan-rad.org/100years/ – where registration, venue, educational program featuring nationally recognized speakers with strong Michigan ties, and other information is available. This will be a wonderful opportunity to renew acquaintances, meet current and past MRS leadership, and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime MRS celebration as we enter our second century!! I look forward to seeing you in Dearborn!!
An area of current concern by not only MRS but also ACR is the extension of scope of practice (SOP) by non-physician groups. Non-physician provider societies, specifically for Advanced Practice RNs (APRN) and Physician Assistants (PAs), have ramped up their fight to increase their members’ SOP and gain independent practice – particularly at the state level. State and national agencies have encouraged use of these physician extenders — especially during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This is not just an issue for Michigan, where there are three bills in the legislature addressing non-physician SOP; but this year, Florida, Rhode Island, and Oregon approved legislation opposed by ACR that extended such non-physician SOP. The MRS will be discussing possible coalition efforts with Michigan State Medical Society on actions to protect patient access to safe, high-quality, radiologist-led medical imaging care by working to ensure that non-physician providers only provide care as part of a physician-led team. While SOP will be an area of active interest and participation by your MRS Board, you can find other ACR resources to keep current on latest developments with scope of practice and to learn more about expansion efforts at the interactive ACR [https://www.acr.org/Advocacy-and-Economics/State-Issues/Scope-of-Practice] website.
Finally, in the next few months members will receive notices for comments on ACR Technical Standards and Practice Parameters that are up for renewal. All existing standards and parameters must be renewed every five years after their creation. This is a valuable opportunity for every ACR member to provide input on the current revision for change or correction. All comments are taken seriously. Having co-chaired technical standard writing groups, submitted comments personally, and chaired comment Reconciliation committees, I assure you that submitted comments, corrections, and suggested changes are taken seriously. A tip in submitting comments is if you want something changed, suggest alternative language for replacement or brief reason for language to be revised. When you see the email postings to comment on a technical standard or practice parameter in your area of expertise or interest, please read and respond accordingly.
Have a great summer!
Ralph P. Lieto, MS FACR
President, Michigan Radiological Society