What I Wish I’d Known
No matter where you are in your career, chances are someone has already been there. This month, the ACR Bulletin brings together radiologists from throughout the specialty to give advice to their younger selves about what they wish they’d known earlier in their practices.
Dear Dr. Chin,
Over the course of your clinical practice, you will work in many different environments, from a small single-hospital practice to a 70-radiologist group covering most of the greater Los Angeles area, to a free-standing diagnostic and interventional radiology center. Here are some things that will help you on your way:
- Maintain and increase your skill set, seeking out opportunities to learn new skills needed to address the changing demands of your practice environment and the requests of your clinical colleagues.
- Grab every opportunity to learn about billing, operations and the business of radiology. Don’t simply depend on your associates to do this work for you. Either you can have a fighting chance of controlling the business of radiology or it will control you.
- Network in your hospital. Become well known and liked by your administrators, middle managers, and clinical colleagues. Seek out opportunities to get to know your referring physicians to share your expertise and make yourself invaluable.
- Network in your practice. In the era of productivity benchmarks and PACS, it is more and more difficult to get to know your own associates. View your group as a team, and share cases. It will make your practice more interesting and rewarding professionally, and you will learn.
- Network in your specialty. Take every opportunity at local, regional or national meetings to connect with other radiologists. They will be your eyes and ears to the world of radiology beyond your own practice.
- Expect change. Everyone is comfortable with the status quo, but you must embrace change with renewed vigor and vision. You cannot always know what’s coming next. But you should practice scenario planning and try to prepare for the forseeable challenges. Never assume that what happened to your neighbor can never happen to you. Burying your head in the sand is just not effective.