September marks Women in Medicine Month, and in radiology, women remain underrepresented – within both the specialty and radiology leadership. RP Matrix, the internal teleradiology practice of Radiology Partners (RP), tells a different story.
RP Matrix is made up of more than 150 radiologists working remotely all over the United States. Leveraging a cutting-edge, artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled platform, RP Matrix partners exclusively with RP’s onsite practices to provide final read imaging services remotely, including routine, subspecialty, emergent and after-hours imaging support. RP Matrix radiologists are committed to creating a new vision of teleradiology—a collaborative, smooth and efficient extension of the high-quality care provided by the local practice.
The value of women in radiology has always been at the core of RP, and their contributions to both RP and RP Matrix cannot be understated. Dr. Nina Kottler, now Associate Chief Medical Officer for Clinical AI and partner at RP Matrix, joined RP founders Rich Whitney and Dr. Anthony Gabriel to become RP’s first radiologist in 2012 and ultimately helped launch RP Matrix. With a dynamic background in radiology and AI, she continues to move the industry-needle forward in the advancement of RP’s proprietary AI tools.
Check the stats
- Currently, 22% of practicing radiologists nationwide are women, while at RP Matrix, more than 30% of radiologists are female.
- Across radiology practices in the United States, less than 13% of female radiologists are in leadership positions, while 34% of leadership roles at RP Matrix are held by women.
- Of RP Matrix’s female radiologists, more than 30% are partners in the practice.
- Overall, RP Matrix boasts a 99% retention rate.
“While we are transforming radiology as a specialty, we are also transforming how women are represented and recognized within that specialty. At RP Matrix, many of our physician leaders are women. It takes this kind of bold move to affect the current norms.” – Dr. Nina Kottler
Behind the numbers
Women play a crucial role within RP, and RP Matrix has enhanced its model accordingly. RP Matrix’s culture of collaboration, camaraderie and innovation create space for teleradiologists to remain engaged. The practice’s efforts to promote inclusion, flexibility and support allow our remote radiologists to pursue their goals and interests while excelling in both their professional and personal realms. We asked some of our female radiologists about their experience practicing with RP Matrix.
Collaboration, camaraderie and innovation
RP Matrix provides and encourages innovative ways to keep teleradiologists connected and engaged throughout the entire practice and country. Together, RP Matrix leadership and teammates foster a positive culture of collaboration and a sense of community. “Remote work has a risk of being isolating, but the systems in place for RP Matrix have proven to be team-centered, inclusive and welcoming,” said Dr. Elisa Foster, pediatric radiologist.
Dr. Kimberly Marlowe, diagnostic radiologist, said RP Matrix actively strives to battle burnout risk by coupling the benefits of working from home with the benefits of a supportive group of physicians. “There is excellent rapport with colleagues while working, and plenty of camaraderie through our ongoing connection on our chat platform,” she said.
Within RP Matrix, subspecialty expertise is available 24/7. There are teleradiologists representing all subspecialties, offering consults only one click away. Dr. Laila Holmes, general diagnostic and musculoskeletal radiologist, said that RP Matrix allows her to have access to other radiologists for expertise, second opinions and to learn. “You feel like you are working alongside other radiologists, and it is easy to ask for consultations from your colleagues,” she said.
Because of its unique position in teleradiology, RP Matrix is often the first practice to tap into new clinical technology offerings from RP. Technological innovation allows radiologists to better the practice of radiology, helping to improve outcomes for patients; predict risk for disease; quantitatively assess response to treatment; provide more actionable information and data-driven insights to referring clinicians; improve the efficiency, accuracy and robustness of interpretations; decrease costs; and eliminate the inefficiencies that can fatigue busy radiologists. This early introduction of AI technology allows RP Matrix to lead the way for broader utilization by all of RP.
Inclusion, flexibility and support
RP Matrix offers varying options for work schedules so that remote radiologists can choose what works for them. This flexibility allows for radiologists to adjust for personal needs, explore other interests and pursue other goals. “The work schedule has dramatically improved my overall life satisfaction,” Dr. Foster said. “I discovered lifestyle medicine, a new specialty geared toward disease prevention and reversal emphasizing food, sleep, stress resilience, fitness, community and addiction recovery. I became board-certified in 2018 and now do nutritional and wellness consulting during my off weeks.”
Dr. Danit Talmi, musculoskeletal radiologist, agreed. “One size doesn’t fit all,” she explained. “My schedule has varied in the past 13 years to meet my life circumstances and needs. With my current swing shift schedule, I have the best of both worlds. I am there for school pickup and afternoon activities. Instead of dinner breaks, I take breaks at bedtime. I wake up with plenty of time for weekday errands. While I work every other weekend and some holidays, having every other week off leaves plenty of time to do things I enjoy. We can tailor our professional development in ways that will fit with our goals, passions and lifestyle. We are always encouraged to participate and contribute, and our ideas and energy are never turned away.”
Women in Matrix: About the committee
Outside of their clinical work, many RP Matrix radiologists participate in committees. These committees allow for contribution to different aspects of the practice, like continuing medical education (CME), quality assurance, recruiting, social, onboarding and more.
Most recently, RP Matrix launched the Women in Matrix committee. “Our mission is to provide solidarity, camaraderie and mentorship to female radiologists within RP Matrix,” explained Dr. Marlowe, committee founder and chair. “We aim to do that through mentorship opportunities and a formalized supportive forum to promote honest discussion and positive change in the realms of gender equity, diversity, career advancement and work-life balance.”
The Women in Matrix committee’s plans are robust. They believe it’s important to create space to discuss the issues women can face in healthcare and in society, not just within their committee. The group plans to host all-inclusive gatherings with the entire practice to explore these issues. They will also host committee meetings for women to promote honest discussion and offer women the option to participate in peer mentorship.
Dr. Marlowe said, “Our committee is here to provide support and empowerment to help unlock each woman’s potential.”
Learn more about RP Matrix, the internal teleradiology practice of Radiology Partners (RP). RP is the largest physician-led and physician-owned radiology practice in the U.S. Learn more about our mission, values and practice principles at RadPartners.com. For the latest news from RP, follow along on the RP blog and on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. Interested in learning about career opportunities? Visit our careers page.