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Being a teleradiologist was a nightmare at first, but now it’s my dream job

Practicing in teleradiology is amazing, or it’s your worst nightmare.

How do I know? Because I’ve been in two telerad positions that couldn’t have been more different.

The first one was so unbearable that I left after just a year, thinking I’d never go back to teleradiology again. The second—my current position—is truly my dream job, thanks to great work-life balance, an integrated reading platform, incredible support teams, and reachable colleagues. 

I didn’t plan to start in teleradiology after my radiology residency — But I’m glad I did

I’ll be honest, I had no plans to go into teleradiology straight from residency. However, I fell into it because economic conditions meant choices were slim as I started my career in 2014. It was just a few years after the stock market, crashed and many older radiologists had decided to postpone retirement as they saw their retirement savings diminish. That meant that the job market was hypercompetitive; hospital groups and private practices simply weren’t hiring. I also was in the process of moving from the Midwest to the West Coast, where I didn’t have much of a professional network. For these reasons and more, teleradiology made so much sense. Eight years later, it still does. 

When my shift's done, it’s done. No worklist pressure was my solution to radiologist burnout.

When I was practicing at my community hospital, I was burned out. Toward the end of my time there I dreaded going to work. Even when I wasn’t working, I was thinking about working. I was never able to enjoy my time off or be truly present with my family – they never got the best of me. Today, that’s no longer the case.

Breast center thrives with remote, fellowship-trained radiologists

 

Originally published by Theresa A. Cavins, MD, FACS on Radiology Business

As the chief of surgery specializing in breast care, I’ve seen firsthand the negative impact the national physician shortage can have on women’s health – especially in underserved communities. At my community hospital, it’s hard for us to bring in a new doctor, a new nurse, anyone at all. There is just such a shortage of talent right now.

Radiologists, especially breast imaging fellows, are perhaps the single hardest position to fill in this challenging environment. If you have to rely on your own hospital’s ability to hire a new radiologist, you could be waiting for a long time – potentially putting women’s health at risk.

Telemammography gaining momentum with same-day diagnostic results and video phone consultations

The pandemic delayed breast care for many women. We all know, however, that you can’t put cancer on hold. Combine that with the intensifying shortage of radiologists in this country and we’re seeing more and more patients who desperately need care.

Fortunately, we can provide screening mammograms and same-day diagnostic results remotely to many of those patients who lack access locally – for whatever reason. Perhaps the drive is too far, or their local provider doesn’t have a breast imaging specialist.

vRad first launched its remote diagnostic mammography program back in 2016, connecting patients and technologists with fellowship-trained, board-certified radiologists via live video consultation. Some providers and their patients were tentative at first – this was, after all, years before telehealth popularity skyrocketed during the pandemic – but the times, they are a changin’. Our telemammography volume is up 22% for each of the past three years. We’ll read 130,000 studies this year alone which means more women are accessing the specialized care they need.  

Leaving my hospital radiology practice helped me rediscover the joy of medicine

 

For 20 years, my radiology practice was a large part of my life and my identity.

I was a solo practitioner at a small community hospital in Kansas. It was a lot of work, but I adored the people I worked with and I took pride in being the one to serve friends, family, and other familiar faces from my small-town neighborhood.

But things quickly went from good to bad when my hospital got caught up in a change of administration and what felt like a subsequent race for profits—a race that I know many other radiologists have felt, too.

The profound negative impact these changes had on my professional and personal life led me to make one of the hardest, but ultimately best, decisions I’ve ever made—to say, “I quit.”

How radiologists can find stability during economic volatility

With the amount of volatility and uncertainty in the U.S. economy, it’s no surprise that even radiologists, who are used to being in high demand, are starting to wonder: How would a recession affect my current employment?

AI quality assurance models saving lives and millions in avoided med-mal

Unrecognized imaging findings are an unfortunate, but undeniable, part of radiology. New advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning offer a critical safety net that is improving care and saving lives — as well as avoiding millions of dollars in potential medical malpractice costs.

Radiologist Job Interview Best Practices

You’ve found a position at another practice that you’re interested in, and they’ve reached out for an interview. Now what? Maybe it’s been years or even decades since your last interview, or maybe you’re just coming out of a residency or fellowship and this will be your first interview. I can share a bit about what to expect.