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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.

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?

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.

Leading the way to beat burnout, vRad launches largest radiologist wellness investment ever

Ask yourself: what is your current practice doing to alleviate burnout? Are they investing in programs to support your professional and personal life? Or does the burden fall on you to figure it all out?

Teaching Residents in Tanzania – An Immensely Rewarding Experience

If you were to travel to the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Moshi, Tanzania, you would find yourself in the shadow of snowcapped, Mt. Kilimanjaro. At dawn, you would walk through dense vegetation on a rocky and rutted red dirt path to the guarded gate of the doctors’ compound and into a small, spare reading room inside a huge hospital complex known as KCMC. The compound includes a 630-bed public hospital with 1852 students and 1300 staff, a medical school, a research institute and allied health schools. The hospital treats 1000 patients daily. Some travel great distances. Many are terribly ill. 

6 Tips for radiologists to reduce burnout and redefine the path to retirement

When you’re a radiologist, your work isn’t just what you do—it’s who you are.

The career is all-consuming; if you follow a traditional path in private practice, you simply have to come to terms with the fact that you’ll devote your life to it—and for nine years, I did.