Why both new and seasoned radiologists must embrace networking

While the job market for radiology appears relatively stable through 2016, the good news, according to the 2013 ACR Commission on Human Resources Survey, is that each of the 1,200 residents who complete their radiology training should be able to find a position in the field. The problem, though, is that the job "may not necessarily be in the subspecialty, geographic area, or type of practice the individual desires."

With that in mind, a young resident looking to find the job that best fits his or her career goal should begin networking early and often, according to an article to the American College of Radiology's website. Older, mid-career radiologists should be doing the same, said Edward Bluth, M.D., chair emeritus of the department of radiology at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans and the chair of the ACR Commission on Human Resources.

"Word of mouth counts a great deal," Bluth said. With that in mind, he said he thinks residents should attend local, state and national conferences like RSNA, not necessarily to hunt for jobs, but to get to know more people in the profession. Mid-career radiologists, Bluth said, should be doing the same kind of networking in order to find out open positions, as well as to compile their own lists of potential hires.

Attending conferences, he said, also can help radiologists obtain information on hiring patterns in order to have a better idea of what subspecialties may be needed in different areas of the country.

According to Bluth, there are advantages to choosing a subspecialty, since "larger groups will be forming in the future. ... [I]n order to be relevant in those groups, you will need special skills to distinguish yourself from everyone else," he said.

At the same time, however, C. Matthew Hawkins, a vascular interventional radiology fellow at the University of Washington/Seattle Children's Hospital, suggested that practices may be looking for more than subspecialists, particularly people who can "figure out ways to generate alternate incomes for their groups."

"Groups may be interested in someone who can come in and take over all of the imaging protocols for their MRI machines or someone who is an expert in quality and safety," Hawkins said.

In an article published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, David Levin, M.D., and Vijay Rao, M.D.wrote that practicing radiologists have an obligation to those just starting their careers "to help them get through" what they believe is a shrinking job market.

To learn more:
- check out the 2013 ACR Commission on Human Resources Survey
read the article on ACR.org

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