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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. Chris Mattern, Associate CMO for Rad Experience.

Dr. Mattern is a neuroradiologist and Practice President for Greensboro Radiology, which serves the Cone Health System in Greensboro, North Carolina. Additionally, Dr. Mattern serves as a Board Member for DRI Imaging Centers and Operating Committee member and Chair of Finance for Triad Health Care Network. Dr. Mattern earned his medical degree from Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota, and completed his residency and fellowship at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He joined RP in 2019.

As Associate CMO of Rad Experience, Dr. Mattern will partner with teammates and practice leaders to make RP the destination practice for radiologists. This spans the gamut from developing great leadership; providing the right tools, resources and work environment; and creating the right culture so that RP remains a Great Place To Work.

We sat down with Dr. Mattern to learn more about his aspirations for RP’s Office of the CMO and his role as Associate CMO for Rad Experience.

Tell us about your tenure/history with RP.

Greensboro Radiology joined Radiology Partners in May 2019 after a three-year journey to find the right strategic partner to grow in our region and carry out the vision of Greensboro Radiology to “define and deliver radiology excellence in the current climate of healthcare transformation”.

Having joined in May 2019, I was eager to engage our local practice with the national practice and learn ways we could share ideas to improve both. I was fortunate to join the newly formed Culture and Leadership (CaL) Physician Support Board in fall 2019. There I connect with talented leaders where we wrestle with what “Culture” really means and how we support it in our practice. The CaL Board is tasked with contributing to development of content and flow for all RP learning and development under RP University (RPU). As a strong believer in understanding the purpose of what we do and equipping our teams with the resources needed to fulfill the mission, I have found this work very motivating.

What attracted you to RP?

The clear attraction to RP is that we are a mission-driven organization where we are trying to achieve a clearly articulated goal, to transform radiology. This means that while we journey together, we know what we’re doing and can hold ourselves accountable to that the mission we’ve set, leveraging both having a mission and having scale to achieve it. My colleagues at Greensboro Radiology and I were also attracted by the numerous high-quality practices that had already joined RP. We had collaborated successfully with Columbus Radiology in the past and knew many of the other groups, and we believed Greensboro Radiology had something to bring to the table. At that point our search for strategic partner crystalized, and we were able to proceed with purpose.

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

Having had the opportunity to participate in somewhat formal leadership training, I’ve learned the value of recognizing individual skills and blind spots in myself and others as well as the importance of learning how to actively listen. Our success and experience so often revolve around our ability to communicate well with others. As part of the leadership for Greensboro Radiology, I’ve been able to hone those skills and further appreciate the importance of listening and communicating to enhance our shared experience. Where my team and I have been successful in hearing the shared interests of our practice, clients, referring physicians and patients, we’ve had the most success.

I hope that bringing this understanding to the role will help us understand more clearly what we need to enhance the experience of being a radiologist at RP and meet the challenges of our diverse practice. A great radiologist experience in Houston might be different than it is in Chicago, and pain points in Las Vegas might be different than in Connecticut. It’s not one size fits all. This role requires patience to hear others.

What do you want to accomplish in this role?

I want to reduce the variability of radiologists’ experiences amongst our practices and create structure and mechanisms within RP that allow us to really hear what’s happening across the entire Practice. I plan to work with the Excellence, Culture and Operations teams to bring those experiences to every local practice so we can truly achieve a Best of Both approach. I want to elevate the experience of being a radiologist in general, emphasizing the central role we play in healthcare so that every radiologist can work knowing that purpose. I also want to continue to work on leadership training that is tailored to all radiologists. Every single radiologist is a leader – our staff and patients look to us for leadership every day.  At various points in our career development, different levels of training, tools and levels of participation are needed. Through RPU, we will enhance live, virtual and on-demand learning opportunities tailored to the needs and responsibilities of physicians throughout RP.

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

The future of radiology is strong. As radiologists, we will continue to be at the center of diagnoses, care coordination and distribution of care. We will continue to interact with the highest levels of technology and play a critical role in recognizing the best ways to use that in developing value-driven care. RP offers a venue to apply the current and next generations of artificial intelligence tools, IT and communications skills to add value impossible to achieve at smaller scale.

As the population continues to grow with a limited number of radiologists, we need to be able to work smarter, not harder. This requires investment and collaboration that we have the scale to achieve. As such, I think RP not only has the opportunity but has the obligation to transform radiology. We will continue to collaborate with many other effective organizations which each play a role in this process. As we establish our place among academic centers and strong independent practices, we have a responsibility as the largest and most influential practice in the country to shape the specialty in a way that’s best for our patients and our communities. I’m confident we can do that.

Dr. Chris Mattern is the Associate Chief Medical Officer for Rad Experience 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 blog and on TwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.