Amidst a Radiologist Shortage, Radiology Partners Successfully Recruits and Retains Outstanding Radiologists Through Multi-layered Approach
(EL SEGUNDO, Calif.) October 12, 2021 – Radiology Partners (RP), the largest radiology practice in the U.S., is proud to announce that in less than two years, more than 500 radiologists have joined the practice specifically to support practice growth. This is the largest number of new physician recruits in such a timeframe and reflects RP’s growth. Over the last two years alone, RP has won more than 100 new contracts, servicing over 115 additional locations throughout the country.
A Long-term Challenge
In June 2021, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) released its sixth annual report forecasting a projected shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians by 2034. Since radiologists skew older than most physicians, placing more radiologists near retirement, the specialty finds itself facing a particularly difficult challenge.
Moreover, a 2019 study found that radiology ranks fifth among 23 medical specialties in burnout. As the population ages, the demand for medical and imaging services continues to increase with no slowdown in sight. Since medical imaging and image-guided care are central to modern healthcare delivery, shortages and physician burnout could have profound impacts across the medical spectrum. Unfortunately, this issue has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and a series of Medicare reimbursement cuts.
Helping fuel its growth, RP focused on both recruiting new radiologists and retaining existing teams. A recent survey of younger radiologists in the practice found that the vast majority (78%) would recommend RP to a friend or colleague as a place to work (21% were neutral). “We believe that radiologists who feel supported and appreciated are more engaged in their practice and provide better service to patients, referring clinicians and clients. Our impressive retention metrics reflect our ongoing commitment to radiologist support,” said Dr. Chris Mattern, Associate Chief Medical Officer for Radiologist Experience.
Three Key Insights
As a national organization serving diverse environments across the U.S., and one that has successfully recruited hundreds of new radiologists during the pandemic, RP is uniquely positioned to offer insights on these long-term challenges. Through a series of initiatives that focus on each stage of a career in radiology – from recruitment through retirement – RP continues to demonstrate best practices to recruit, strengthen and sustain its physicians.
For organizations facing staffing challenges and looking to combat physician burnout, RP’s programs yield three key insights:
- Provide support and guidance early.
Choosing the right career path is a daunting task for any medical student, resident or fellow. RP’s programs help address questions people have at each stage in their career. Through its Supporting Opportunity and Achievement for Radiologists (SOAR) mentorship program, RP pairs radiologists with fourth-year residents to help guide them through both training completion and the job search process. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to meet at least monthly to craft and advance the mentee’s goals. Forums and mixers provide spaces for residents and fellows to share their perspectives and build connections. Through its annual Transform event, RP connects radiology fellows and third- and fourth-year residents with radiology leaders and other trainees. Interactive sessions offer fellows and residents an opportunity to learn about radiology, and social time affords participants valuable opportunities to build their network. By highlighting the benefits of radiology, SOAR and Transform offer trainees a much-needed roadmap through the radiology specialty.
- Strengthen professional skills: clinical care, leadership, teamwork and management.
Too often, people leave a job because they feel stalled in their career. RP recognizes that professional growth and development should not stop when one leaves training – it should continue throughout one’s entire career. One of RP’s most successful programs to combat these issues is Radiology Partners University (RPU), which offers professional development programs for both radiologists and support team members. RPU helps individuals and teams grow through a robust catalog of programs, including focused one-year programs, executive skills workshops, management training and cross-functional cohorts, which drive engagement and increase satisfaction. Through educational programs that create opportunities for growth at all stages of a career, RP ensures that its radiologists and support teammates are always able to challenge themselves in fulfilling and growth-oriented ways.
- Support for personal satisfaction and well-being.
Professional development and satisfaction depend on personal development and satisfaction. RP recognizes that combatting burnout depends on combatting the underlying sources – challenges to mental and physical well-being. RP’s Wellness Committee, which launched in 2017, offers resources to manage stress, improve mental health and more. At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, when employees and physicians across the entire industry struggled with personal well-being, RP’s Wellness Committee worked to ensure its teammates felt cared for, trusted and safe. Programs and resources that drive personal well-being are critical to provide team members with a strong foundation on which to work and grow.
Across specialties, the house of medicine is facing difficulties related to staffing shortages and burnout. Radiology is not immune to these challenges. Investment in the development of programs to recruit, strengthen and sustain physicians is the way forward. “Radiologists are often referred to as the doctor’s doctor, meaning that our work serves as a foundation for many other specialties and the vital care they provide patients,” said Dr. Arthy Saravanan, Associate Chief Medical Officer for Recruitment. “In that spirit, we offer this call to action: we must provide our physicians with the support and resources needed at all stages in their career in order to thrive. I hope that other practices, in radiology and beyond, embrace these ideals.”
About Radiology Partners
Radiology Partners is the largest radiology practice in the U.S., serving more than 2,900 hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the nation. As a physician-led and physician-owned practice, our mission is to transform radiology by innovating across clinical value, technology, service, and economics, while elevating the role of radiology and radiologists in healthcare. Using a proven healthcare services model, Radiology Partners provides consistent, high-quality care to patients, while delivering enhanced value to the hospitals, clinics, imaging centers and referring physicians we serve. Learn more at https://www.radpartners.com/ and connect with us at @Rad_Partners.