RSNA Blog: Saving our profession—three words a resident never wants to hear


I came to RSNA this year with an air of optimism, looking forward to experiencing the conference as a senior radiology resident, hoping to help bridge my transition to fellowship and beyond. 

I browsed through the subspecialty brochure for Health Policy/Leadership Management to gain increased exposure to some of the non-clinical aspects of radiology. My optimism was quickly shattered, but my interest piqued, when I came across one of the earlier sessions offered on Sunday, "Saving Our Profession: How Radiologists Can Thrive in the Era of Health Care Reform." Have I really been working all these countless hours, nights, and weekends to climb on board a sinking ship? I wondered, is it still too late to try and switch to Derm?

I decided that I should at least hear what the panel of experts had to say about the topic. Drs. Beauchamp, Hillman, and Muroff, spent an hour and half giving a truly excellent talk about the challenges we face as a profession along with the reasons why we have gotten to this point. Despite the overarching theme of doom and gloom, the presenters stressed the fact that our profession can be saved, but it will take efforts from each and every one us. This will be no easy task, as it will take lots of small changes in the way we practice, and changes to the culture of our profession to acquire salvation.  

In fact, the nuances of healthcare reform and the new legislation really provide opportunities for radiologists to thrive, and not merely survive. 

Though many residents shun from these types of sessions, I believe these are the most important sessions for us to attend to help us take ownership of the profession and ensure its future success. This excellent and informative session has passed, but the gold subspecialty brochure for "Health Policy/Leadership Management/ Quality Assurance and Quality Improvement/ Professionalism" is filled to the brim with four more days of high-yield, relevant programming. Pick it up and browse through it, all small steps, and help do your part to save the profession that we've put so much work and effort towards becoming a part of.




Jonathan Flug, MD, is a senior radiology resident at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. Flug provided valuable input into “Who is the Radiologist of the Future,” in the Nov. issue of Health Imaging.