Monday, January 27, 2014

Radiology One of the Highest Paying Medical Specialties

Contributions to this post are from:
Mike Bassett, 

One of the   principal determinants some medical specialties is salary. However, that is not the only factor in specialty selection by trainees.  Some of the other factors are:

Relatively good hours and call schedule
Flexibility of work locations
Group Practice insulated from  financial issues
Hospital based employment, an option
Support as consultant for most specialties
Technological advancements in CT, MRI, PET and other new imaging techniques

Fierce Medical Imaging reports that although Radiology reimbursement has flattened out and perhaps decreased there are an abuncance of job seekers in Radiology.

  1. Study: Two job seekers for every new radiology position
An analysis of the American College of Radiology job board suggests that for every job posted there are two radiologists seeking jobs, according to a study published online in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

According to Anand M. Prabhakar, M.D. of the department of radiology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, while the general impression of the radiology job market has been "grim," there has been little research done tracking employment statistics. 
The researchers found that the during the study period, the mean number of new job seekers was 168 per month--twice as many as the 84 job postings found on average per month. 

No appreciable difference in the number of new job postings between 2011 and 2012 was found, while the number of newly registered job seekers ranged from 80 in May 2012, to a high of 418 in October 2010. October through November of 2010 represented one of the peak periods of job competitiveness (represented by the number of newly registered job seekers), along with August through November of 2011 and October and November 2012.
Consequently, the researchers concluded that there is a seasonal variation in interest in the ACR jobs board coinciding with the July 1 start date of fellowship training programs.

The study is a relatively short term study and in a period of rapid change with the Affordable Care Act and the imminent development of Accountable Care Organizations.

Radiology suffers from the same pessimism stimulated by reductions in earnings. 

In the face of what appears to be a shrinking job market, practicing radiologists have an obligation to those just starting their careers "to help them get through this difficult time," write David Levin, M.D., and Vijay Rao, M.D. in an article published in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.
report last year by physician recruiting firm Merritt Hawkins illustrates how job prospects have declined for prospective radiologists over last several years. According to the report, demand for radiologists--Merritt Hawkins' most requested specialty in 2003--ranked just 18th last year.
The reasons for the fall in demand, according to Levin and Rao? Slowdowns in utilization and reimbursements; longer radiologist hours to maintain compensation levels (consequently decreasing the need to hire new radiologists); current radiologists deferring retirement; and the advent of picture archiving and communications systems and other digital enhancements that have increased efficiency.

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