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My Sit-Down with Diagnostic Imaging on Overcoming Burnout in Radiology

Is your happiness worth anything? It was a question I asked myself at the height of my burnout as a partner at a private practice.  The answer led me here, to vRad.  And while greater work-life balance was essential to eliminating my own burnout, another key element not to be missed has been vRad’s commitment to physician wellness.

I recently had an opportunity to sit down with Diagnostic Imaging to talk about more about vRad’s Physician Wellness Program and how supporting the mental health and better work-life balance of radiologists is linked to their productivity.  





Short on time? Here are six highlights from the interview:


  • Radiology burnout is insidious—it can sneak up on you so slowly you don’t realize until you’re deep into it. My epiphany moment was a trusted friend asking me what my happiness was worth. Turns out, it was worth making a really big change. From a partner at a successful radiology practice, to teleradiology at vRad.

  • Radiology has a unique burnout challenge because of the extreme radiologist shortage, which is only expected to get worse. Imaging volumes are increasing and many practicesexpect fewer radiologists to somehow keep up. The critical question every radiologist needs to ask themselves is, where is the tipping point? What is the “too much,” threshold … and how close are they to it?

  • Burnout stacks. One of the big problems with burnout is that it keeps stacking. You don’t just not get better—you get worse. You become less efficient, even working the same number of hours. Burnout is like quicksand; you can’t push through it, you have to get out of it.

  • Remote radiology benefits from an inherent structural advantage, in that there’s no commute, and no hospital location where radiologists are expected to spend a contracted number of hours every day. But even with that, it’s crucial to understand how the leadership at any teleradiology practice views their commitment to their radiologists’ well-being.

  • vRad’s partnership with VITAL WorkLife was an exciting development for me, because I had no idea this kind of company existed. From peer-to-peer coaching to life concierge assistance, I love the small and large services they offer. But more important was the message that vRad’s leadership sent with their announcement of this partnership, and how it showed their commitment to the health and wellness of their teleradiologists.

  • Advice for other radiologists regarding burnout? Pay attention to your home life. Specifically, how it compares to how you think it should be, or how you wish it would be. From there, other radiologists will have to decided—like I did—what is your happiness worth?



To learn more about vRad’s physician wellness program visit: https://www.vrad.com/radiologist-burnout-resources-and-support/



Author Jonathon Lee, MD

Jonathan completed his medical degree at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and residency at Wake Forest University’s Bowman Gray Center. He loves that being a teleradiologist allows him to keep his family near, whether they are at home in Dublin, Ohio, or preparing for adventure at their condo in Key West, Florida.



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