American College of Radiology
The American College of Radiology (ACR), founded in 1923, is a non-profit professional medical association composed of diagnostic radiologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicists. It is based in Reston, Virginia, with offices in Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. The college publishes The Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR) and The ACR Bulletin.
During the 1990s, the ACR undertook a massive project to define national guidelines for appropriate use of imaging technologies. The product of this effort is called the ACR Appropriateness Criteria (ACR-AC). The ACRAC were formally introduced during testimony by K.K. Wallace, MD (then chair of ACR Board of Chancellors) to the House Ways and Means Committee in 1993. Dr. Wallace indicated that the ACR stood ready to define a system of patient care guidelines for radiology to eliminate inappropriate utilization of radiologic services (Cascade 1994).
Following appointment of panel chairs in late 1993, the first panelists were selected during early 1994 and by spring, deliberations had begun (Cascade 2000). Ten years later, the ACRAC are the only comprehensive North American practice guidelines for diagnostic imaging selection, radiotherapy protocols, and indications for image guided interventional procedures. They embody the best current evidence for choosing appropriate imaging evaluation and interventional procedures for a large number of clinical conditions.
Further, the ACR has committed to continuously updating the content of these guidelines and has developed the human resources infrastructure to carry this out in the future. By 1999 there were 210 clinicians and scientists serving on 10 panels. These include 35 representatives from 19 specialties other than radiology. The 2000 version contained over 140 clinical conditions with 820 variants. Currently, the ACR website lists over 190 conditions with more than 900 variants.
The ACR provides the only national accreditation program for mammography. The Mammography Quality Standards Act of 1992 requires all mammographers in the United States and its territories be accredited by a federally approved private non-profit or state accreditation body.
Political Action Committee
By 2006, the bipartisan political action committee for the ACR (RADPAC) had become the second largest medical specialty PAC - only four years after its creation.
ACR Career Center
The ACR also hosts the ACR Career Center, one of the largest job sites specifically for radiologists. Employers are carefully screened and recruiters are not allowed, making the ACR Career Center the best place to find a job. The site is meant to be a "user-friendly meeting place for individual employers and job seekers." In addition to the online resources, the ACR Career Center also provides an on-site interview service in late November.
The ACR Career Center was previously known as the ACR Professional Bureau. It began a dramatic transformation in July 2008 from a simple job board to a full service career center. One of the most notable additions is an E-Library of resources for both employers and job seekers to assist in the recruiting and hiring process, as well as provide advice for on the job issues.
- American Board of Radiology
- American Osteopathic Board of Radiology
- American Osteopathic College of Radiology
- Cascade PN. Setting appropriateness guidelines for radiology. Radiology 1994; 192(1):50A-54A.
- Cascade PN. The American College of Radiology. ACR Appropriateness Criteria project. Radiology 2000; 214 Suppl:3-46.