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Teleradiology, a perfect fit for radiologists after residency—whether they pursue a fellowship or not

Originally published by Scott Baginski, MD on Radiology Business

Radiologists have an important choice to make at the beginning of their careers: do they want to start a fellowship after their residency or immediately join a radiology practice?

Both options can be incredibly rewarding for a young radiologist. And the good news is, there’s no wrong answer.

Radiologists often choose to continue their training after their residency and pursue a one-or two-year subspecialty fellowship. On the other hand, some may find that they would rather skip the fellowship and join a practice right away. And that’s great too! You don’t have to be fellowship-trained by any means to have a long, successful career in radiology. Some of the happiest, most successful radiologists I know are general radiologists.

Academic and hospital-based mammography embraces teleradiology: Shedding 3 preconceptions of the past

Originally published by Michael Walter on Radiology Business

In 2020, a growing health system in the Northeast asked vRad for assistance. Like many providers around the country, all of its hospitals were struggling with physician shortages that largely stemmed from recruiting challenges.

Mammography stood out among the enterprise’s hardest-hit medical specialties. Its subspecialized breast radiologists were perilously overstretched.

And the health system had never considered “outsourcing” mammography an acceptable option.

10 reasons I’m a vRad lifer

Originally published by Michael Walter on Radiology Business

Looking back on my career as a radiologist—now in its 22nd year and counting—I see three themes consistently guiding my “work-life balance.” These would be control, culture and lifestyle. Let me explain.

The top 7 ways radiologists can avoid medical malpractice claims

Originally published by Michael Walter on Radiology Business

Medical malpractice claims are a significant source of anxiety for all radiologists. Unfortunately, decisions made in the heat of the moment, with the absolute best intentions, can still land a specialist in court.

In my role as chief medical officer for vRad, I’m intimately involved with our radiology malpractice claims and have observed commonalities among them. To quantify these observations, I recently analyzed all 220 claims made against vRad radiologists between June 2017 and October 2020—applying a detailed classification taxonomy including the alleged type of miss, study type, if the standard of care was met, if communication failures contributed, settlement, and so on.

What emerged from that data was a clear set of guidelines to help radiologists avoid the costliest and most likely cases to go to trial.

ED imaging demand skyrocketed in 2021, and many radiology providers are struggling to keep up. What's next for the specialty?

Originally published by Michael Walter on Radiology Business

The United States has faced a growing shortage of physicians for some time. This long-term trend—coupled with the pandemic and increased imaging demand throughout 2021—have led to a highly competitive radiologist employment market at a time when practices find themselves short-staffed, overworked, and in need of relief.

The growing imbalance between radiologist supply and imaging demand has affected radiology providers of all types. To learn more about the ongoing situation, Radiology Business sat down with two executives from Virtual Radiologic (vRad) for their unique national perspective of serving over 2,100 facilities and radiology groups across the U.S.

vRad Announces Largest Ever Radiologist Compensation Increase for 2022

I am extremely pleased to announce that beginning in 2022, vRad radiologists will see a compensation increase of up to 25%.

This will be the largest pay hike in the history of our practice and it will benefit all vRad radiologists. As part of a long-term reinvestment strategy in our radiologists, it is the fourth increase since 2019 and it reflects our values in compensating radiologists for the time, effort, and expertise required to advance vRad as a premier practice.

I spend nearly 100% of my shift reading images. Here's how.

Can you recall the last shift during which you spent close to 100% of your time on clinical duties?

I can. It was my last shift. I had no administrative obligations, no committee meetings, no software glitches, no running around trying to find a physician or tech—just eyes on images and voice into the mic.

Then again, every shift is like that for me. After working in several private practices, I’ve spent the last 11 years doing full-time teleradiology—backed 24/7 by a superb support team of 51 dedicated staff.

Radiologist Salary Reckoning: Who Has Control Over Your Compensation?

Radiologist salaries average $420,000 to $430,000 annually. Last year was an outlier due to COVID, when the collective figure dipped to around $413,000, according to Medscape’s latest physician salary survey.

Whether or not your salary is in line with these figures, now is a great time to take stock and ask yourself the following:

  1. Am I happy with the money I’m making as a radiologist?
  2. Am I content with the hours I’m putting in to get there?
  3. Am I even in control of my earnings and how hard do I have to work?

10 Steps to a Stress-Free Mammography Inspection

Whoever said the only things certain in life are death and taxes never faced an MQSA inspection. Federally mandated in the early ’90s and delegated to the states ever since, the process can seem like a frenetic exercise in reprimand avoidance. However, with a little rethinking and some focused preparation, you can turn the stressful day into an enjoyable experience.

In fact, watch out. You might even come to see your pre-inspection checklisting as a rewarding labor of love. After all, the beneficiaries of your dutiful i-dotting and t-crossing are deserving mammography patients.

It is with them in mind that I offer some principles and pointers I’ve come back to time and again over the 30-plus years I’ve worked in mammography technology, operations and administration. This includes the last seven years helping vRad’s telemammography clients prepare for their inspections.