From September 22-24 the CAR Board of Directors gathered in Halifax, Nova Scotia to discuss the upcoming priorities for the fall and to undertake the development of a new strategic plan for the next five years. Despite the challenges presented from Hurricane Fiona, the Board, with representatives from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan (2), Ontario (2), Quebec (2), New Brunswick (2), Nova Scotia, the ACR and a resident representing the Resident and Fellow Section, weathered the storm and had a very productive discussion. The meeting kicked off with a presentation from Dr. Gilles Soulez, CAR President, summarizing the successes and highlights of the last several months.
Advocacy was at the top of the agenda for this meeting. Our members have been under continuous pressure to meet the growing demand for medical imaging in Canada. The lack of new medical imaging equipment and insufficient health human resources in radiology departments is causing stress on the healthcare system, patients and providers included. Although we did experience success in early 2022 with the Health Minister’s announcement of $2 billion in new funding to address the backlog including diagnostics, we need to do more. The Board continues to work hard on behalf of the radiology community and patients to secure additional funding from the Federal government, specifically for new medical imaging equipment and to lower the stress on health human resources. We are also advocating for the implementation of national clinical decision support systems as well as the introduction of new technologies that will help our members be more successful in their practices. Included below are some of the other key highlights from the three-day session:
1. Implementation of a New Strategic Plan
Your representatives had an extremely productive session focused on the future of the CAR. After consultation with one another and an in-depth overview of the member survey results in comparison with the healthcare landscape, your Board of Directors established key priorities areas for the next five years. Over the course of the next month, we will be finalizing the plan and will share it with our members later this fall. We thank everyone who took the time to partake in the survey and help shape the upcoming priorities for the association.
2. We Exist to Make our Members More Successful for the Benefit of our Patients
This message was loud on clear among the Board. Our members are our raison d’être. As we move through the strategic planning process and map out the next five years, we need to ensure that the association invests time and resources in programs that will make our members more successful in their delivery of care.
3. The RFS Continues to Flourish
The CAR Resident and Fellow Section (RFS) continues to expand on their engagement initiatives. They have introduced new learning opportunities such as the development of resources for medical students, residents, and fellows, including on-call practice resources, Fellowship 101, transition to practice, the continuation of the Learning in the Dark podcast series and mentorship opportunities. There is also a strong focus on wellness including the 2-Step Challenge and Game Night. Brand new to the RFS is the Resident Spotlight Award – stay tuned for details. Visit the RFS website to find out more about their amazing initiatives.
4. CARJ Strengthens its Position in the Academic Community
Under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Michael Patlas, and thanks to the efforts of the editorial board, the Journal continues to flourish. In the last year, the CARJ has increased its number of submissions, reduced backlog of papers published online and has maintained its industry-leading metrics for time to first decision, peer review, and time to publication. The Impact Factor and overall reach of the Journal reached all-time highs, with a 300% increase in readership since 2017 and a total Impact Factor of 4.186! And to add to the positive news, Dr. Michael Patlas has renewed his commitment to the Journal, extending his leadership for another six years.
5. CAR Explores AI Validation
As AI continues to rapidly evolve in radiology, there needs to be a mechanism to evaluate new technologies in a Canadian environment. The CAR is exploring a post-market AI validation strategy where the CAR would provide oversight in terms of testing proposed AI solutions and provide recommendations to Health Canada for implementation. This would involve the creation of a Radiology AI Validation Network (RAIVN). Currently such a mechanism that audits AI technology for imaging does not exist and it would be of great value for radiologists and patients within Canada. More information to follow in the coming months.
The CAR’s accomplishments are directly attributed to our members. On behalf of the CAR Board of Directors, I would like to acknowledge working group and standing committee volunteers who spend countless hours publishing guidelines and undertaking research, helping to shape future of radiology. We are privileged to be served by a very dedicated and skilled staff under the direction of our CEO Nick Neuheimer. Thank you for your support and commitment to the CAR.
Dr. Gilles Soulez