Reports of Radiology’s Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated

Bluth_EdwardThis post was contributed by Edward I. Bluth, MD, FACR, chair of the American College of Radiology (ACR®) Commission on Human Resources.

Mark Twain once noted that reports of his death were greatly exaggerated.  With the ebb and flow of reimbursement cuts and newly covered exams (and newly covered patients), along with reports of pigeons reading mammograms and artificial intelligence (AI) going to read everything else, you would be forgiven for thinking we were a dying breed. But, that has been greatly exaggerated.

A recent report from a large physician recruitment firm showed that, for the first time in a decade, (diagnostic) radiology was among the top 10 most requested specialties for recruiting assignments (for both on site and teleradiology)

As I stated in my recent report to the ACR Council at ACR 2017, we expect an increase of more than 14 percent in the number of jobs available for radiologists seeking opportunities in 2017.  More than 2000 diagnostic radiologists are projected to be needed to fill 2017 job openings.

Another report has the global interventional radiology market expanding by nearly a third by 2022. Radiation oncology is also expected to be in demand moving forward.

To be sure, radiology, like other specialties, has to evolve with changing health care delivery and payment systems, changing technology, practice consolidation and other factors.

However, the American College of Radiology (ACR) is working on multiple fronts to help you and our specialty move through these changing times on as solid footing as possible.

This includes a fleet of materials to help you:

  • Get your next job
  • Gain clinical and leadership/business skills to make you more marketable
  • Expand your practice
  • Understand the economic and technological forces that impact the field

These resources include (but are not limited to) the:

I would encourage you to take advantage of these ACR resources. I would also be interested to know:

  • Which skills do you think radiologists need to enhance or develop to make themselves more marketable?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and join the discussion on Engage (login required).

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Make the Connection

youmansThis post was contributed by David C. Youmans, MD, FACR, chair of the Radiology Advocacy Network (RAN) and practicing radiologist in Princeton, N.J.

At our recent ACR 2017 meeting, hundreds of radiologists marched up Capitol Hill to meet with their legislators and discuss issues of importance to us and to our patients.

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More than 520 ACR members met with lawmakers during ACR 2017

Much more than an opportunity to get an interesting photo for your office or living room, these interactions are a vital avenue to development of better health policy and to improving patient care.

Now that the excitement of being in Washington has passed, I encourage all of us as radiologists to continue engaging decision makers year round — not just during the ACR annual meeting.

Follow-up communications or tours of your imaging facility provide effective ways to develop relationships with both federal and state legislators.

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NJ Chapter meets with congressional staff

The Radiology Advocacy Network (RAN) can equip you to make critical points in discussions with local, state and federal decision makers.

This can help all of us keep them more informed as they make decisions that can help us all provide better care.

A wealth of RAN resources are available to help you:

  • Understand current legislative and regulatory issues affecting radiology
  • Explain why policies under consideration may or may not be the best path to follow
  • Get involved — by contacting lawmakers to provide your insights on issues they may be deliberating

Please take advantage of the RAN resources. Get involved. Together, we can make health care better.

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Dr. Youmans with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)

A few questions:

  • What did you learn from meeting with your local, state or federal lawmakers?
  • What advice do you have for others who may do so?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below and join the discussion on Engage (login required).

Feel free to share informative content on the Radiology Advocacy Network’s Facebook page or on Twitter @ACRRAN.