Whitney Palmer

Healthcare. Politics. Family.

Wanted: Radiology Resident Leaders

Published on the Nov. 26, 2012, DiagnosticImaging.com website

By Whitney L.J. Howell

CHICAGO — With challenges looming on nearly every front, radiology needs a new group of strong leaders to navigate the trials and strengthen the profession, industry experts said at this year’s RSNA annual meeting.

Given proper leadership training, current radiology residents are positioned to be the profession’s next generation of leaders. But their training — if not already underway — must begin now if they’re going to fill the current void in the industry, said Richard Gunderman, MD, professor and vice chair of radiology at the University of Indiana.

“There are lots of radiology departments in the United States that lack leadership. Many have titular leaders, but in fact, they’re not being led or they’re being led poorly,” he said. “A lot of capability of the faculty and resident is lying dormant, and people are becoming more disengaged and discouraged than invigorated and encouraged.”

He recommended that faculty engrain in their residents the importance of team work — group accomplishment over individual successes — and embrace a leadership model that encourages others to work to their potential and contribute to either their practice or department.

It’s also paramount, he said, to encourage residents to think creatively so they will be best prepared to tackle future roadblocks.

“The single most important aspect of our residents isn’t their technical skills or their cognitive knowledge base. It’s their imagination,” Gunderman said. “What are we doing to foster the development of imagination in this next generation of radiologists?”

And, that creativity and outside-the-box thinking will be vital to addressing the difficulties the industry already knows are coming. Declining reimbursement, a new payment model, decreasing case volume, and encroaching teleradiology companies are just a few of the changes that threaten to erode the influence radiology departments and practices currently enjoy, said Vijay Rao, MD, chair of radiology at Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University.

Surviving these trials requires a cultural shift in priorities that must start with residents, she said. Rather than perpetuate the culture of entitlement that is pervasive in many corners of radiology, faculty and private practitioners should teach residents to focus on quality and putting the patient first.

“We need to cultivate professionalism and eradicate apathy in the profession,” she said. “We must focus on reducing or eliminating inappropriate studies and doing the right thing by the patient.”

To read the remainder of the article at its original location: http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/conference-reports/rsna2012/content/article/113619/2116427

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December 5, 2012 - Posted by | Healthcare | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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