From the Board of Trustees

From the Board of Trustees

Survey Shows Volunteers Overwhelmingly Value Their ABR Experience

By Pamela A. Propeck, MD, ABR Trustee; M. Elizabeth Oates, MD, ABR Trustee; and Andrea K. Ng, MD, MPH, ABR Governor


The ABR Volunteerism Committee recently administered a survey to approximately 1,300 current ABR volunteer committee members to examine potential barriers to volunteering and strategies to increase interest and engagement. The survey had a 36% response rate, and respondents included volunteers from all four radiology disciplines: diagnostic radiology, interventional radiology, medical physics, and radiation oncology.

Survey participants were in a variety of practice settings, including urban (73%), suburban (23%), and rural (4%). The majority were in an academic practice setting (79%) but community teaching setting (9%), community nonteaching setting (7%), military/VA (1.4%), imaging center (1.3%), industry (1%), public sector (1%) and teleradiology (0.2%) were also represented.

The most common length of services was three to five years (42%), with 25% serving two years or less, 18% serving six to 10 years, and 15% serving 11 years or more.

The main reasons for volunteering with the ABR were professional fulfillment (87%), keeping up with the latest knowledge (68%), networking opportunities (64%), and leadership opportunities (51%). Barriers to volunteering included increasing demands for clinical productivity in the workplace (63%), administrative duties at the workplace (50%), and required time commitment and responsibilities of volunteering (44%). The most highly rated strategies to increase volunteer interest and engagement included increased recognition by the ABR to the volunteers’ academic/group practice leaders, performance-based awards and recognition, and ABR social events at national professional meetings.

Regarding workload and time commitment, 85% of respondents thought the amount of time for creating questions and item discussion calls was appropriate, whereas 8%-13% of volunteers thought the workload was too high. Interestingly, 20%-30% of the committee chairs thought the workload/time commitment was too high for their volunteers. While 14% of volunteers thought increasing their committee size would help distribute the work better, 82% thought their committee size was appropriate. Although 13% thought the term limit of three years (plus renewal for three years) was too short, only 2.7% thought it was too long. Regarding the preference for end-of-year in-person meetings in Tucson/Chicago or virtual meetings, there was a 50/50 split among volunteers.

Regarding ABR volunteer materials, 66% of the respondents were aware of the ABR Volunteer Handbook, which is available on the ABR website and lists the criteria necessary to be considered as a volunteer plus a description of each opportunity across the four disciplines.

Most volunteers reported a high level of satisfaction with the ABR staff. In all, 97% said staff were helpful with timely responsiveness and 94% said their questions were readily answered. In addition, 92% stated they were able to ask their questions and express their ideas comfortably.

Overall, 97% of the volunteers said they were satisfied with their ABR volunteer experience, 95% thought the ABR did a good job in communicating with the volunteers, and 89% thought the ABR valued their service.

The survey demonstrates that volunteers acknowledge the support of the ABR staff and their efforts to facilitate and encourage volunteer participation in the ABR mission. The ABR is deeply grateful for our volunteers’ commitment and service and is continually striving to improve the volunteer experience. This survey has allowed us to identify specific challenges and potential strategies for increasing volunteer engagement and fostering a more fulfilling and gratifying experience. If you are not a volunteer, consider exploring the opportunities in the ABR Volunteer Handbook.

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