The Significance and Value of ACNM Fellowship

Bennett S. Greenspan, MD, FACNM, FACR

Fellowship status in ACNM is awarded for recognition of significant and sustained service to the college and to the nuclear medicine community. This can be for extraordinary and sustained service to ACNM or extraordinary and sustained contributions to the field of nuclear medicine. As stated in the ACNM bylaws, "Fellows shall be those persons who have shown evidence to their peers superior competence, integrity and maturity in the application of their nuclear medicine knowledge and skill and who have been elected to this honor by the board of directors." Generally, only 3 or 4 members achieve fellowship status each year. It is a prestigious award and an honor given for effort and accomplishment, not just for years of membership.

Many fellows become leaders in the college, including president and members of the board of directors. Many fellows also become leaders elsewhere in the nuclear medicine community, including in SNMMI, and many have served as president of their respective chapters.

However, with this honor comes obligation. Fellows are expected to continue as active members of the college. They are expected to uphold the values of the college and the nuclear medicine community as a whole. These values include (1) fostering the highest standards of consultation and service to referring physicians, hospitals, and the public; (2) advancement of the science of nuclear medicine through study and education; and (3) advancement of socioeconomic aspects of nuclear medicine practice. I believe these values also include integrity and compassion.

The status of fellowship is of significant value to the college. This is considered one of the most valuable benefits that the college provides, in addition to the annual meeting and the journal (Clinical Nuclear Medicine). This recognition of individual accomplishment is commonly an incentive to contribute more to the college. Most of the fellows continue as members of the college, and many attend the annual meeting. Many of the fellows also contribute as members of committees or task forces. Much of the leadership of the college is made up of people who have been elected as fellows. These are valuable contributions of effort and expertise to the college.

I believe that the fellowship also provides value to the entire nuclear medicine community in the recognition of members of the community of accomplishment and expertise. This recognition is also an incentive to provide leadership and to contribute further to the field and to ACNM.