Studying for the radiology boards? Join the Medality team and our world-class radiologists for some fast-paced case reviews covering high-yield topics from the ABR Core Exam blueprint. From February through May, you’ll learn from top faculty from around the country in 10 live one-hour case reviews, covering high-yield topics from the ABR Core Exam blueprint. And don’t worry if you can’t make it live – all you have to do is register and you’ll receive access to the full replay library though the end of 2024.

To celebrate our new Case Crunch Core Review series, we decided to launch a giveaway to help fuel your studying and your learning! Follow the instructions below to be entered to win a DoorDash Gift Card and a Premium membership to MRIOnline.com.

Enter to win:

  1. Take a photo or video of yourself studying with the Medality Case Crunch courses
  2. Post and tag us on social media using #CaseCrunch
  3. Must be following Medality on social media to win

Contest is open worldwide and ends on Sunday, May 12, 2024 at 11:59 ET. Winners will be chosen at random and contacted via social media/email by Friday, May 17, 2024.

No purchase is necessary to enter. This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with DoorDash, Instagram, Facebook, or Meta. Winners will be contacted via private message/email and announced publicly. Winners will have 48 hours to claim their prize.

Effective January 24, 2024, the American Board of Radiology discontinued the Self-Assessment-Continuing Medical Education (SA-CME) requirement for radiologists. This change signals the end of an era for the SA-CME, which served as a staple of radiology certification since its inception in 1994. 

While regular continuing medical education (CME) credits remain unchanged, the ABR’s decision to phase out the SA-CME has generated both praise and criticism within the radiology community. 

According to a letter from ABR President Dr. Robert Barr, most ABR diplomates will not need to change what they do in 2024 to maintain a license in good standing.  

This article dives into the key details around the discontinuation, plus examines what this regulatory change means for the future maintenance of certification of practicing radiologists in the U.S. 

Do ABR diplomates still need to complete CME?

Yes, ABR diplomates will still need to complete continuing medical education (CME) credits. The ABR has phased out the SA-CME. However, it was just one component of the Maintenance of Certification (MOC). 

Diplomates must still complete 75 Category 1 continuing medical education credits in the previous 3-year period to maintain their certification. 

Most state medical boards require radiologists to earn a certain number of CME credits within a specific time frame (usually every two to three years) to renew their medical license. The ABR’s MOC program aligns with these state requirements to make it more convenient for radiologists to maintain their certification. 

Even without the SA-CME mandate, ABR diplomates must still complete a predetermined number of CME credits on an ongoing basis from approved providers. Medality offers radiology video courses and cases that meet ABR requirements for CME. The main change is that radiologists no longer must specifically allocate a portion of their CME hours to the self-assessment modules previously required under the SA-CME component. 

What is the Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) annual progress requirement?

The Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA) annual progress requirement is the number of questions a diplomate must answer each year to maintain their certification

For most radiologists, it’s 52 questions per year. However, the exact number can vary depending on several factors including:

The OLA replaces the previous 10-year exam cycle and is now a core component of maintaining ABR certification. Diplomates must keep up with the yearly milestones and complete the total required OLA questions or modules within their assigned cycle. 

ABR has stated the goal of the OLA is to facilitate more continuous professional development and avoid clinical knowledge lapses between high-stakes exams. 

Can I continue to earn CME on Medality?

Yes, you can continue to earn continuing medical education (CME) credits through Medality. We remain an accredited provider of AMA PRA Category I™ credits. Radiologists can continue to access eligible courses on our platform. 

To redeem your CME on Medality, follow these steps:

If you experience difficulties claiming your CMEs, please contact Medality support for assistance. 

Sources

  1. Upcoming Enhancements to myABR and Continuing Certification. theabr.org. Accessed March 4, 2024. 
  2. Continuing Certification (MOC) FAQs. theabr.org. Accessed March 4, 2024. 
  3. What is ABMS Board Certification? abms.org. Accessed March 4, 2024. 
  4. Online Longitudinal Assessment (OLA). theabr.org. Accessed March 4, 2024. 

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Medality!

At Medality, we recognize the unwavering commitment and compassion you bring to your work every day. Your dedication to healthcare not only makes a difference in the lives of your patients but also inspires those around you. This Valentine’s Day, we want to express our deep appreciation for your tireless efforts and the love you radiate in the pursuit of providing excellent care.

To add a touch of radiance to your celebrations, we’ve crafted some adorable Valentine’s Day cards that mirror the heartwarming care you provide to your patients. These exclusive Medality cards are a small token of gratitude from us to you, celebrating the love and joy you bring into your reading rooms.

How to Share:

Suggested Captions:

Don’t forget to tag us online and use the hashtag #MedalityRadiance, so we can join in the celebration with you!

Planning on handing your radiology residents a gift certificate for one free coffee from the hospital coffee shop on February 23 to celebrate Thank a Resident Day? 

Complimentary caffeine might seem like an excellent way to thank them for their dedication. However, it’s an impersonal gesture that may feel low-effort rather than thoughtful. 

The last thing program directors and coordinators of radiology residency programs want is to make their residents feel unappreciated on the very day that’s meant to celebrate their contributions and achievements. 

As part of Medality’s ongoing commitment to providing value to administrators and residents, we recommend these 5 heartfelt ways to celebrate your radiology residents on Thank a Resident Day that are sure to be a hit. 

1 – Personalized tokens of appreciation

Personalized tokens of appreciation prove to your residents that they’re more than just personnel. Using their name and customizing a gift is more meaningful than handing every resident a free pair of argyle socks with your healthcare facility’s logo on them. 

Providing bespoke gifts means administrators must take time to get to know the likes and dislikes of their residents. Gifts don’t have to be expensive or grand to make an impression. 

For example, a perfect gift for a resident who depends on their SmartWatch is a personalized radiological band that has their name and radiology symbols on it. Not only is the gift practical, but it’s also meaningful. 

2 – Wellness initiatives

Thank a Resident Day is the perfect time to recognize the importance of resident well-being. Organize wellness initiatives that promote a healthy work-life balance. 

A holistic approach that addresses physical and mental health can show your residents how much you value them. Some ideas include:

3 – Appreciation video

This idea requires some advanced planning to pull off but it’s worth the effort.

Gather heartfelt testimonials from radiology program leaders, peers, and even patients who have benefited from your radiology residents’ dedication. Create a video collection of these messages of gratitude and share them with your residents during a special luncheon or other social gathering. 

Going the extra mile to produce the video can take a typical thank-you luncheon and kick it up a notch. If you want to go even further, make keepsake copies of the video available to your residents. 

4 – Professional development opportunities

Investing in the professional growth of your radiology residents benefits them and contributes to the overall success of your program. On Thank a Resident Day, offer unique professional development opportunities tailored to the needs and career goals of your residents to make it feel more like a gift and less like another requirement to cross off their to-do lists. 

Medality’s Academic Training Programs offer engaging, interactive, and highly effective educational experiences. Our custom curriculum planning and integration appeal to radiologists at all learning levels. 

Directors and coordinators of radiology residency programs can purchase a group membership to Medality to help your radiologists gain more insights into cases. With thousands of bite-sized case reviews and video lectures available to watch from anywhere, anytime, your residents easily can find something that appeals to their growth goals. 

5 – Adopt-a-resident

Directors and coordinators of radiology residency programs looking for an “outside the box” idea for Thank a Resident Day might want to consider implementing an adopt-a-resident program. 

Here’s how it might work. 

Invite members of the community who want to express their appreciation and support to radiology residents to sign up for the program. Then, match residents with community adopters who can send them cards with words of encouragement or even small tokens of appreciation throughout the year. 

Keep the community members anonymous. 

Then, at the end of the year, consider hosting a celebration where the residents can meet their community adopters. 

Help Radiology Residents Feel Genuinely Appreciated

Thank a Resident Day is an excellent opportunity for program directors and coordinators to recognize and reward radiology residents for their hard work and dedication. 

Don’t let your efforts fall flat. 

Personalizing expressions of gratitude, investing in progressional development, and creating a culture of appreciation and support serve as a reminder of their invaluable contributions and the bright future they represent.

Sources

  1. Academic Training Programs. Medality.com. Accessed January 26, 2024. 
  2. The Importance of Physical Activity in Preventing Fatigue and Burnout in Healthcare Workers. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Accessed January 26, 2024.

American Heart Month is a time to raise awareness about the importance of heart health and the ways to prevent and treat heart disease. February was traditionally designated as Heart Month in 1963 by President B. Johnson, with Valentine’s Day serving as a reminder of the importance of loving and taking care of our hearts.1

Cardiac health is a major concern, as heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. While there are many factors that contribute to heart disease, such as genetics and lifestyle choices, early detection and treatment can greatly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.2

Radiology plays a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease. Imaging tests like echocardiograms, CT scans, and MRIs can provide detailed pictures of the heart and its blood vessels, allowing doctors to identify and diagnose problems early on.3 These imaging tests can also be used to monitor the progress of treatment and track any changes in the heart over time.

One of the most important imaging tests used in cardiac health is the coronary angiogram.4 This test uses X-rays and a contrast dye to create detailed images of the coronary arteries and detect any blockages. This test can help doctors identify the location and extent of blockages and decide on the best course of treatment, whether it be medication, angioplasty, or surgery.

In addition to diagnostic imaging, radiology also plays a role in the treatment of heart disease. Interventional radiology procedures, such as angioplasty and stenting, can help open blocked coronary arteries and improve blood flow to the heart. These procedures are less invasive than traditional surgery and have a faster recovery time.5

Working Together to Improve Cardiac Health

Heart month is a time to raise awareness about heart health, the importance of early detection and treatment, and the role of radiology in maintaining a healthy heart. Radiologists can get involved by educating patients and healthcare providers about the importance of imaging in detecting and managing cardiac conditions, promoting the early detection and prevention of heart disease, and participating in community events and screenings. 

Additionally, radiologists can get involved in Heart Month by continuing to further their own education and staying up-to-date on the latest imaging techniques and advancements in cardiac care. Here are 3 ways that radiologists can boost their knowledge in cardiac imaging:

  1. Participate in online courses: Online courses are a convenient way for radiologists to continue their education and learn about the latest trends and techniques in cardiac imaging without having to take time off of work or be away from their families. These resources can also cover a wide range of topics, from basic cardiac imaging techniques to advanced treatment options, and are taught by industry experts from all over the world. Here are a few courses to get you started:
  2. Read scientific journals and publications: Radiologists can stay informed about the latest developments in cardiac imaging by reading scientific journals and publications. These resources provide in-depth analysis and commentary on the latest research in the field of radiology.
  3. Attend radiology conferences: Attending radiology conferences is a great networking opportunity to discuss cutting-edge research, new technologies, and best practices in the field of radiology.

———–

  1. https://www.aha.org/news/blog/2018-02-01-february-american-heart-month
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/index.htm
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448128/
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/coronary-angiogram/about/pac-20384904
  5. https://www.sirweb.org/patient-center/conditions-and-treatments/stroke/

As a practice leader, it is important to ensure that your radiologists are up-to-date with the latest industry developments and certification requirements. Continuing medical education (CME) is an essential component of maintaining and improving the knowledge, skills, and performance of healthcare providers. Managing and tracking CME hours can be a complex and time-consuming process, particularly when you are responsible for overseeing a large team of radiologists.

Medality is a Practice Development Platform that offers a one-stop-shop for CME for radiologists. With our platform, you can create CME pathways for your radiologists and enroll them in affordable training courses based on their necessary certifications and state requirements. This makes it easy for you to manage your team’s CME certification process and ensures that your radiologists are always up-to-date with the latest industry developments.

What content do you offer?

Medality’s flexible practice development platform includes more than 100 courses, 4,000 bite-sized microlearning videos, & over 4,000 integrated, scrollable cases designed to simulate a workstation.

Is your content accredited?

Our case-based education is accredited under MRI Online by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) and totals more than 600 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ across the platform.

Who teaches your content?

Courses are developed in partnership with hundreds of top academic faculty, such as:

What type of credits can radiologists earn?

Learners can earn unlimited CME & SA-CME credits across 135+ courses to meet their CME and certification requirements. Medality helps to fulfill:

How are the courses and fellowships setup?

Medality offers a wide range of CME courses, covering a variety of radiology subspecialties and modalities. Our courses and fellowships are designed to be engaging and interactive, allowing your radiologists to learn at their own pace and on their own schedule.

Can I track the CME credits earned by my radiologists?

With Medality, you can say goodbye to spreadsheets and chasing your radiologists to complete or collect their certifications. Our platform offers completion tracking, so you can easily monitor your team’s progress and ensure that everyone is on track. You can also integrate our platform with credentialing software, making it even easier to manage your team’s certifications and licenses.

Learn how Medality can help you streamline the CME process for your radiologists.

If ever there was a case to be made for the importance of quality and patient care in radiology it is this one statistic: the real-time error rate in daily radiology practice is 3 to 5 percent, representing 40 million diagnostic errors annually worldwide.1 To make matters worse, the retrospective error rate in radiologic examinations is approximately 30 percent.2 In an environment where physicians are increasingly reliant on imaging for patient diagnosis and care plans, quality and patient care hang in the balance. 

The good news is that diagnostic errors are preventable events, root causes can be readily identified, and real time solutions can be hardwired into department protocols and staff training. 

However, administration must have the will, departments must have the budget, and staff must be engaged. Quality must be priority number one for every radiology department – and every radiologist. 

Factors contributing to medical errors and misreads in radiology

As physicians and payers require more imaging to support diagnoses, radiologists are experiencing a steep workload with reduced support staff, rising quality expectations, and in some organizations, antiquated technology. This is increasing stress levels and burnout rates in radiologists, exacerbating an already risky environment with errors that occur all too frequently. 

Medical errors and misreads can take different forms in radiology, including:

  1. Misdiagnosis 
  2. Missed diagnosis
  3. Incorrect interpretation

Several factors contribute to the occurrence of medical errors and misreads in radiology. Burnout, for example, can result in fatigue and decreased focus, leading to misreads or errors. Radiologists who specialize in a particular subspecialty or modality may not have enough exposure to other specialties, leading to potential errors when interpreting unfamiliar images. Additionally, staff members may be under pressure to read a high volume of imaging studies quickly, leading to errors or misreads.

Another contributing factor to misreads in radiology is the increasing demand for imaging studies. “The demand for imaging is outpacing what we’re doing on the training side,” said Dr. Vahid Yaghmai, professor and chair of radiological sciences at the University of California, Irvine. “The number of radiologists in the workforce is not growing as fast as the population and the demand for imaging.”3

There are not enough radiologists available to read these studies, and even if there are, they may not have the appropriate training in other subspecialties or modalities to handle the volume of imaging adequately. This situation can result in more misreads or errors due to the radiologist’s lack of experience. 

Strategies to reduce the risk of medical errors and misreads in radiology 

Given the myriad issues resulting in misreads and errors, how can patient care be improved? The answer is a methodical approach that assesses and addresses each issue proactively, combined with an action plan for immediate assessment of issues in real time. 

Here’s how to address the issues raised above:  

  1. Implementing quality control processes: Radiology departments should have established procedures for monitoring the quality of imaging studies and the interpretation of those studies. Quality control processes can help identify potential errors and misreads and prevent them from reaching patients.
  2. Continuing education and training: Radiologists should receive ongoing training to improve their knowledge of different subspecialties and modalities, allowing them to better handle the increasing demand for imaging. Continuing education can also help reduce burnout and fatigue and promote more accurate readings.
  3. Inappropriate orders: The radiologist needs to be involved in choosing examination protocols for the patient. While this may cause some upheaval in existing care pathways, it is essential that at some point along the way between referring provider and imaging, the radiologist weighs in on the appropriateness of the imaging order. 

Take care of your most important resource – your people 

The bottom line is that everyone in an institution bears the responsibility of protecting and improving patient care. When it comes to the radiology department, their specific efforts must be supported by quality and risk, finance and administration. Just as “no man is an island”, no department functions completely alone. 

Radiology must have robust support in order to deliver highly accurate interpretations and improved reporting quality. That means: 

  1. Radiologists must be supported and engaged: Create an environment of safety for clinicians to report concerns and mistakes, free of fear of retribution. Systems for anonymous reporting to Quality and Risk must be in place. 
  2. Empower radiologists: Radiologists must be empowered to engage in the development of protocols and policies, participate in quality and risk improvements, and share their expertise. An open culture of communication, and active learning can foster collaboration and drive improvements in patient care.
  3. Protect the mental health of radiologists: This is an area that is often overlooked. Radiologists are trained perfectionists and mistakes can impact their mental health. No singular radiologist can be familiar with everything they may see on an image, so it is imperative that they work in an open, collaborative environment – one that facilitates learning, dissemination of learned knowledge, and ongoing training. Ensure access to training and remove barriers of self-pay or days off to attend. 

Empowering Radiologists to Improve Accuracy and Enhance Care Quality

It could be said that every patient diagnosis begins with imaging and the interpretation of those images are the first milestone in the patient care pathway. Therefore, this essential function must be supported with training, trust, and empowered radiologists that feel free to share concerns and seek advanced training. When these tools are placed in the hands of the experts in the department, errors can be addressed, quality will improve, and patient care will be enhanced.  


​​[1] Radiographics https://pubs.rsna.org/doi/10.1148/rg.2018180021

[2] American Journal of Roentgenology https://www.ajronline.org/doi/full/10.2214/AJR.12.10375#:~:text=Every%20radiologist%20worries%20about%20missing%20a%20diagnosis%20or,claims%20against%20radiologists%20are%20related%20to%20diagnostic%20errors

[3] Radiological Society of North America https://www.rsna.org/news/2022/may/Global-Radiologist-Shortage

Practice Leaders Must Lead the Way

As a practice leader, it is your responsibility to ensure that your radiologists are meeting their CPD requirements. The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) have recently updated its CPD requirements to promote the continuous learning and development of radiologists, ensuring that they remain up-to-date with the latest advancements and technologies in the field of radiology. The new requirements focus on promoting evidence-based practice and encourage radiologists to reflect on their professional practice and engage in continuous improvement.

These updated guidelines were developed to better align with the requirements of the Medical Board of Australia (MBA), and the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) and to provide radiologists with a more flexible and personalized approach to professional development. This change brings new opportunities for professional growth, but it also means that radiologists will require guidance and support to navigate the new requirements.

The new CPD program requires radiologists to:

There will also be an additional minimum requirement of activity that needs to be met across the 3 broad categories:

Why do practice leaders need to help their radiologists meet the updated RANZCR CPD requirements?

1. Compliance

Radiologists must comply with the new RANZCR CPD requirements, which means that they must complete a certain number of CPD activities each year. Practice leaders must ensure that their radiologists are aware of the updated requirements and are meeting them.

2. Professional Growth

The updated RANZCR CPD program offers radiologists more opportunities for professional growth, including a greater focus on reflective practice and self-directed learning. Practice leaders must help their radiologists to take advantage of these opportunities and provide support for their ongoing development.

3. Improved Patient Care

By meeting the updated RANZCR CPD requirements, radiologists can enhance their knowledge and skills, which will ultimately lead to improved patient care. Practice leaders must recognize the importance of this and encourage their radiologists to embrace the updated program.

4. Competitive Advantage

Practices that have radiologists who are meeting the updated RANZCR CPD requirements will have a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Patients and referring doctors are likely to prefer practices with radiologists who are committed to ongoing professional development.

5. Reputation

A practice’s reputation is closely linked to the reputation of its radiologists. By helping their radiologists to meet the updated RANZCR CPD requirements, practice leaders can enhance their practice’s reputation as a center of excellence in radiology.

Practice Leaders Must Lead the Way

Practice leaders have a critical role to play in ensuring that their radiologists meet the updated RANZCR CPD requirements. By providing guidance and support, practice leaders can help their radiologists to embrace the new opportunities for professional growth and ultimately deliver better patient care.

Learn more to find out how Medality can help your radiologists meet the updated RANZCR CPD requirements:

Find the 2023 RANZCR CPD requirements here.

Challenges for Practice Leaders Today

It is no secret that radiologists are leaving their jobs. In fact, over 41% of radiologists changed their jobs over a 4-year period, according to a recent study.1 The study included 25,228 radiologists who were associated with 4,381 practice groups across the country. Practice separation rates were 47% for multi-specialist groups as opposed to 38% for radiology-only practices. 

Burnout, workload, and inability to participate in nonclinical work, such as professional development and practice building, are the primary drivers.2 But the demand for radiology and medical imaging has only increased in our post-COVID world. 

Even with this uptick in demand, radiologists still say they need to focus more on nonclinical work to improve their accuracy and outcomes. In fact, 56.9% of respondents indicated that they made reading errors because they were rushed by increased workloads. This situation hurts providers and patients alike.

But what about the impact of these trends on practices and their leaders? A critical, but under-discussed, downstream impact of the Great Radiology Resignation is the impact it has on practices and practice leaders. 

Private Practice As A Critical Component to Overall Radiology Landscape

Practice leaders are scrambling to protect their precious workforce. Radiology’s resignation trends are having a major impact, not just on individuals and patients, but also on practices and their leadership. But it is not too late. 

The way a practice leader recruits and trains radiologists affects the entire practice – not just the radiologist. There are two primary downstream impacts when practices invest in their radiologists: 

  1. The first is that radiologists are more likely to stay, even in this tumultuous time. 
  2. The second is that the entire practice is able to function more efficiently and more accurately. This leads to more revenue and happier providers. 

Individual vs. Practice-Level Impact of Investment in Professional Development

At the individual level, the retention of highly-trained radiologists is a good thing for the practice overall. Good retention rates can indicate radiologists are happy, they are not burnt out, and they are working productively and efficiently. More radiologists staying in their roles also means that overall morale and camaraderie are likely to be high.3 

One bonafide path to improving retention and morale is to invest in radiologists’ training and professional development. By investing in radiologists’ training, practice group leaders send a message that they care about their providers’ growth, well-being, and commitment to the field. This investment improves specialty range, recruitment, and coverage. 

Radiology Specialty Range and Coverage

Because of lack of supply and increased demand, radiologists in private practices must be able to pivot and read outside of their specialties. Practices no longer have the luxury of remaining siloed by specialty. This can actually benefit leaders.

With proper investment in professional development and training, especially through innovative avenues like microlearning, practice leaders can develop a nimble workforce with confidence and competence. This results in expanded practice capabilities, quicker turnaround times, and a wider breadth of offerings. 

For example, a practice that may have been limited to one or two specialties, now could offer cardiac CT or breast imaging, when that practice may not have been able to before. This also means that practices may be able to solicit business from a wider range of hospitals, clinics, and outpatient centers. 

Retaining and Recruiting Radiologists

Radiology business leaders try to entice highly-skilled radiologists with bonuses, extra vacation time, and wellness perks. While these tools may work in the short-term, radiologists want to work in a place where they feel that their leaders care about their growth, well-being, and satisfaction. 

The most obvious and effective way to retain radiologists long-term is to offer consistent and ongoing access to training and professional development, especially in innovative ways. This approach is, often, more cost-effective for practices than ever-increasing bonuses, increased salaries and paid time off. When practice leaders invest in their providers, word spreads and the reputation of the practice grows. Over time, this allows the practice to organically attract and retain excellent providers.

Confronting the Challenges of Modern Practice Leadership

The available literature about radiologist burnout, retention, recruitment, and resignation focuses almost entirely on the impacts of these challenges on individuals. However, it is time for the imaging community, especially practice leaders and business managers, to understand the market and economic landscape, focus on the impact it has on their practices and proactively develop solutions so they can continue to grow. 


​​[1] https://www.neimanhpi.org/press-releases/radiologists-job-changes-trends/

[2] https://healthimaging.com/topics/medical-imaging/neuroimaging/burnout-369-radiologists-early-retirement

[3] https://projectionsinc.com/abetterleader/morale-the-number-one-factor-for-employee-retention-and-productivity/

Radiologists Need Range

Very few radiologists work exclusively in siloed subspecialties. As other areas of medicine specialize and subspecialize, it becomes increasingly important for radiologists to increase their range and grow more nimble across many specialties. Dr. David Youmans of Princeton Radiology Associates says that “multispecialty radiologists are…likely to become even more valuable as more referrals originate from less rigorously trained providers.” 

Defining a Generalist in Radiology

Historically, a generalist was defined as a non-fellowship trained radiologist. This is no longer the case. Now, a generalist is “a practitioner for whom no single specialty represents a majority of their billed relative value units (RVU’s).”1 

Over 55% practicing radiologists meet the definition of a radiology generalist. However, the term “general radiologist” may be antiquated. This is because, among general radiologists, over 85% of them derive their billable work from two or more distinct subspecialty areas. 

Multispecialists are the way of the future. About 98% of radiologists are fellowship trained. Because of the trend towards multispecialists, most radiology programs offer 4-6 month mini-fellowships in the 4th year of residency. This illustrates academic centers’ recognition that a single fellowship is, likely, not enough for today’s radiologist to succeed. This shift towards multispecialists may be especially important in rural and underserved areas because multispecialty radiologists can cover many different types of common exams and lower complexity procedures.  

The Growing Need for Multispecialty Radiologists is Driven by Volumes and Labor Shortages

A number of factors contributed to the increase in multispeciality radiologists. 

Workload and volume have massively increased, resulting in massive shortages nationwide for mammographers, pediatric radiologists, cardiothoracic radiologists and more. To keep up with volumes, radiologists have to practice beyond their core specialty because hiring additional FTE and even outsourcing is no longer viable. 

Adjusting To Support the Imaging Community’s New Reality 

After a decades-long focus on increasing subspecialization, many of today’s radiologists are caught off-guard by the need to be a multi-specialist. That is why we must now undertake two changes: 

  1. The imaging community must embrace the rise of the multispecialty radiologist
  2. Radiologists and practice managers must find new and innovative ways to make multispecialty radiologists feel competent, confident, and efficient reading across many subspecialties 

In 2020, the American College of Radiology passed Resolution 47. Resolution 47 established a taskforce to explore the concept of the “Multispecialty Radiologist.” The taskforce discovered that radiologists do not care about the title of multispecialty radiologist, nor do they agree upon an exact definition.2 That said, there is no debate as to whether there is an ever increasing trend towards radiologists as jacks-of-all-trades. As a result, it is imperative that the broader radiology community embrace this concept and all of the doctors who fall into this category.

Once that occurs, the next thing that has to happen to curtail massive burnout, resignation, and discontent among radiologists today is to support this new reality. To do this, we must maximally equip multispecialty radiologists with the tools that they need to be confident, competent, and efficient reading across specialties. Because this is a shift in how we think about radiologists and their training needs, an appropriate shift in how we train and equip them needs to follow suit.

The Time Is Now

This shift cannot be slow. We need to invest now in new and innovative ways of training radiologists so that they can read across specialties. These investments include digital microlearning, peer-to-peer mentoring, classic CME across a range of subspecialties, and conference opportunities. When this happens radiologists reading across specialties will become more facile, confident, and competent. The downstream impacts of this will be at the practice level. As more radiologists become more competent and confident, more practices will become more profitable, nimble, and successful at retaining and recruiting top talent.  


​​[1] https://vulcanimaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Value-of-the-New-General-Radiologist-in-Private-Practice.pdf

[2] The definition used in this document is one of many others. The author feels that this definition accurately describes the concept being discussed. 

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