The House That ACR Built
An overview of the executive and legislative branches of the representative democracy called the American College of Radiology
I won't keep you in suspense any longer. If you read my latest tweet, then you're here to find out the answer to the question "What is CARROS?" Let me start by saying it's not the latest super-secret criminal syndicate from a James Bond flick, the Latin American equivalent of NASCAR, or another disruptive IT start-up venture in the sharing economy. It stands for the Council of Affiliated Regional Radiation Oncology Societies. In order to understand how CARROS interacts with the ACR, let's take a look at the College's governance structure.
(Find a more detailed infographic from the ACR Bulletin)
The College has both executive and legislative branches. The executive body is known as the Board of Chancellors (BOC). The BOC has 34 members (most elected, some appointed) and seven officers: chair, vice chair, president, vice president, speaker, vice speaker, and secretary-treasurer. Representatives from major radiology societies (including ARRS, ARS, ASTRO, and RSNA) also sit on the BOC, something I did not previously realize. Having authority and jurisdiction in accordance with College bylaws, the BOC conducts the business and affairs of the ACR.
Not being a legislative body, the BOC does not create policy. Rather, the BOC forms commissions, committees, and task forces that carry out a variety of initiatives. These groups often collaborate to fulfill the goals and objectives of the ACR's strategic plan. A recent example of the success of their work is Medicare coverage for Lung Cancer Screening CT. The Executive Committee is made up of the seven ACR Officers and two additional chancellors. Between regular BOC meetings, the Executive Committee carries out ACR business and reports back at BOC meetings.
The College established state chapters and the ACR Council in 1963. In addition to 50 state chapters, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada also host ACR chapters. CARROS has a chapter too. The ACR Council is made up of representatives from these 54 chapters, as well as members from 24 subspecialty societies and government agencies. The Resident and Fellows Section (RFS) contributes five representatives, and the Young and Early Career Physician Section (YPS) has two councilors.
Approximately 351 councilors make up the ACR Council. The council debates and approves ACR policies. See resolutions that have passed in the Digest of Council Actions. The council elects its own speaker and vice speaker as well as members of the BOC who hold elected positions, including president. In addition, 22 of the councilors also serve on the Council Steering Committee (CSC), also led by a speaker and vice speaker. The CSC acts on behalf of the council in between annual meetings. It also facilitates and develops policy and liaises with those groups represented on the ACR Council.
I hope this brief introduction to ACR governance has given you a little better appreciation of what this large and thriving organization of nearly 37,000 members has built since its humble grassroots formation by 21 attendees at the American Medical Association in 1923. Read more about ACR governance in the JACR's "How the ACR Works" series:
In a hurry? Quickly get some key facts about the ACR.
Many thanks to ACR CEO William T. Thowarth Jr., MD, FACR, and ACR staff Devin Parris, and Lauren Alfero for providing information for this post.