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In March, RP announced the launch of the Office of the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), naming 13 radiologists to senior executive leadership roles. One newly named Associate CMO is Dr. Raj Shah, Associate CMO for Operations in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Dr. Shah is a neuroradiologist for ARA Diagnostic Imaging serving the Austin, Texas, region. Previously, he has worked with RP Practice Partnerships, and he recently served as treasurer for ARA. Dr. Shah earned his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, and also completed his residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch. He completed his fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Shah joined RP in 2019.

As Associate CMO of Clinical Operations for Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, Raj will serve as a clinical partner to RP’s Senior Vice President of Operations for the region, including supporting implementation of clinical programs, IT and AI tools; resolving clinical issues within their respective regions; assisting with operating, client and radiologist issues; and serving as a resource for Practice Presidents in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

We sat down with Dr. Shah to learn more about his aspirations for RP’s Office of the CMO and his role as Associate CMO of Operations for Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

Tell us about your tenure/history with RP.

ARA joined RP in 2019. Right away, I started working with the Practice Partnerships team, which was a great exposure to the structure of RP while focusing on new partnerships. RP’s mission and vision are intrinsically compelling, and it is exciting when like-minded radiologists and practices want to be a part of this journey. Whether we like it or not, healthcare is changing, and I believe RP has a superb team to help execute our mission to transform radiology and lead the change in the specialty.

What attracted you to RP?

We liked the leadership and the clear communication and execution of a well-defined strategic plan. RP’s leadership team had a reasonable goals for the near-term and was well-suited in thinking of the long-term strategy to position the Practice as a transformative leader. We liked that radiologists were heavily involved in all aspects of the Practice, including on the Board. Compared to some of the other opportunities, RP is walking the walk instead of merely talking about it.

How has your experience prepared you for your role as Associate CMO of Operations?

I have been in leadership locally in Austin since 2010. I believe in the concept of servant leadership and that leaders are most effective when they see their role as serving the organization. My introduction to leadership came when I joined ARA’s IT committee. This was followed by a role on the Executive Committee and eventually as ARA’s treasurer. At ARA, I was lucky to have worked with many experienced leaders and am used to making decisions as part of a team. I think as ACMO, I’ll be able to help make informed strategic decisions, from a clinical, operational and financial perspective.

What do you want to accomplish in this role?

This role involves execution of our strategic goals, both in the near and long term, regionally. I think there are many great leaders at RP practices, and I hope to help coordinate our excellent radiologists and support teammates to achieve our mission of transforming radiology. There are a lot of changes coming – in AI, reimbursement, regulations and policy, aging populations, etc.– I’m excited to help navigate those changes.

What does the future of radiology look like in 5 years? 10 years? How will RP contribute to that?

In five years, we will be using AI more in our practices, and while I’m confident that AI won’t replace radiologists, I know it will be a valuable tool to assist us. As reimbursement, value and industry pressures increase, scale will be really important. At nearly 20% of gross domestic product, healthcare will inevitably change, as the current environment is unsustainable. Most likely, we will see more practices and hospitals joining larger national healthcare organizations.

Dr. Raj Shah is the Associate Chief Medical Officer for Operations in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma at Radiology Partners, the largest physician-led and physician-owned radiology practice in the U.S. For the latest news from RP, follow along on our website and on Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.