ABR Staff Spotlight

ABR Staff Spotlight

Dunnick To Retire as DR Associate Executive Director After Many Years of Service


By Gary J. Becker, MD, Former ABR Executive Director

N. Reed Dunnick, MD
N. Reed Dunnick, MD

What possessed me to agree to attempt the impossible: pen a befitting farewell to Reed Dunnick on his retirement from the position of ABR associate executive director (AED) for diagnostic radiology (DR)? I don’t know. After all, no one can encapsulate and reduce to paper a suitable tribute to a guy whose entire professional career has been about leadership and who can only be described in superlatives. And who am I to write the farewell anyhow, given that I retired from the ABR nine years ago to the day that Dr. Dunnick will end his service as AED (June 30, 2023)? I suppose I simply could not resist the opportunity to at least attempt to pay tribute to a colleague for whom I have such profound respect.

Many of you who know Reed from one or more of his volunteer roles, from his amazing 26-year run as chair of radiology at the University of Michigan, or from his many scientific and educational contributions (approximately 300 peer-reviewed publications, 11 books, 62 book chapters, and more than 500 national and international invited lectureships and presentations) must be saying, “Come on now. There’s no way he’s going to retire.” And guess what? You’re right. He will continue with his full-time responsibility — I have it on good authority that the commitment is more than 50 hours per week — as editor-in-chief of Academic Radiology. That’s good for everyone, because Reed has done a fabulous job, just as he has in every role he has taken on.

Now that we know that DR AED won’t be the last professional role from which Reed will retire, my tribute need not dwell on his many accomplishments as a volunteer leader, such as his service as president/chair of the Academy of Radiology Research, ARRS, AUR, RSNA, Radiology Research Alliance, SCARD, Society of Computed Body Tomography, SUR, ABR, and the Michigan Radiological Society. Nor will I need to dwell on the eight Gold Medals (highest award) he has earned from the Michigan Radiological Society, ACR, ARRS, SUR, AUR, Academy of Radiology & Biomedical Imaging Research, Society of Advanced Body Imaging, and the RSNA; nor the Visionary Leadership Award from SCARD or the Innovation and Leadership Award from the RRA; nor the honorary memberships he has been awarded from ASTRO, the Japan Radiological Society, the European Society of Radiology, and the Chinese Society of Radiology.

Instead, what I’d like to emphasize are Reed’s contributions to the ABR over the years. He served as an ABR oral examiner from 1991 to 2013, on the DR Written Qualifying (Core) Exam Committee from 1998-2004 (co-chaired the GU section), on the Board of Trustees from 2002-2011 (on numerous committees), and ultimately as ABR president from 2008 to 2010. It was my great good fortune that Reed’s service as ABR president coincided with the early years of my executive directorship. His was a calm, rational, experienced voice during a time of great change. He was both a guide and a partner who led the ABR with his usual steady hand. To this day, I am grateful beyond what I can express here for having had Reed to work with at that time. He championed the Qualifying (Core) Exam and DR Certifying Exam when they were under development, tirelessly communicating the rationale, purpose, and exam structure to radiologists and trainees across the nation; he had the gravitas the task required. He also proved equally adept at communicating the principles and practice of Maintenance of Certification (MOC).

Since Reed assumed the role of DR AED in 2019, a great deal has happened, not least the unprecedented (in the history of the ABR) disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic that sent almost all ABR staff and volunteers into a virtual world for an extended period. Ripples from the pandemic have altered “business as usual” at the ABR forever. I know that Reed, who loves face-to-face interaction with colleagues, wishes that the pandemic had not coincided with his AED responsibilities. Nevertheless, his oversight and guidance have proved invaluable in the refinement and implementation of the online volunteer application, tracking, and onboarding in myABR. He also played a major role in developing, implementing, and refining a process for review of diplomate feedback concerning Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA). To this day, Reed reviews, analyzes, and transmits OLA feedback to trustees and committee chairs, with the aim of improving items and domain coverage.

There is no more I can write to equal the man Reed is, other than to share with you that he loves the Chicago Cubs and their history almost as much as he loves ice cream. A hearty congratulations to Dr. N. Reed Dunnick on a magnificent career with the ABR and more broadly in the field of academic radiology.

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