RONALD J. ZAGORIA, MD
APDR PRESIDENT 1997-1998
As the fifth president of the APDR I had the pleasure of succeeding Ingrid Peterson who did a superb job in mentoring me and preparing me for this position. By now, the APDR had matured and was a potent representative of program directors in radiology and interacted actively with the RRC and the ABR to promote the interests of radiology residency directors. Major activities during my term as president included dialogue with the RRC on designing an adequate template for goals and objectives for radiology residency programs. Goals and objectives were a relatively new requirement for accredited radiology residency programs implemented by the radiology RRC. The APDR set up a subcommittee which tackled the job of designing a template for goals and objectives which was later reviewed and approved by the Radiology RRC as satisfactory to meet its requirements. This was released to program directors and substantially streamlined the process of writing goals and objectives for each program director. Other subcommittees continued work liaising with the RRC and the ABR on upcoming changes in their requirements, and designing a standardized core curriculum for radiology residency programs. A major advance which occurred during my term as president was the endorsement by the APDR for programs to be required to give protected administrative time to all radiology residency directors. This endorsement was used by numerous APDR members to leverage their department's administration to give them weekly protected time to serve as the administrator for the growingly complex radiology residency programs. This protected time endorsement later became an RRC requirement to maintain accreditation./p>
During this era there was much concern among radiology program directors about the viability of radiology residencies. There was much talk about reengineering financing of government-supported residency programs. The popularity of radiology programs had decreased somewhat with major concern about the future job situation for diagnostic radiologists. In addition, the federal Omnibus Budget Act restricted reimbursement for specialty training programs. This was of great concern to APDR members as federal cutbacks in residency support could lead to reduced radiology residency positions in their programs. To address this concern I was able to get the Healthcare Financing Administration (HCFA) to commit a speaker to present at our annual meeting. This administrator addressed the issues concerning the number of years which would be reimbursed by the government for residents entering diagnostic radiology training programs. There was very heated discussion of this controversial topic during the meeting. While major decisions on changing the HCFA policies were not made at this meeting the program directors left the meeting with better understanding of the issues and plans for improving the financing situation. This was one of the highlights of the annual meeting./p>
In addition, during my term as president a great emphasis was placed on recruiting additional program directors from radiology residencies and increasing the number of fellowship directors in the society. These efforts were very successful with the APDR membership increasing during my term./p>
At the end of the term I was able to pass the APDR gavel into the very capable hands of my successor Philip Alderson. In addition, several years later, largely due to my experience as a program director and president of the APDR, I was selected to serve a six year term on the Radiology RRC. Following the creation of the APDR the RRC felt it prudent to have program directors represented on the RRC. This policy continues today and is another outgrowth of the influence from the APDR.