Stable Yet Dislocated Radiology Workforce Predicted

2013-03-18
 

Stable Stones

The American College of Radiology (ACR) Commission on Human Resources conducted a survey, which Edward I. Bluth, MD and colleagues analyzed. They concluded that job prospects for new radiologists are solid.

In 2011, approximately 1,241 radiologists were hired, and 2012 estimates indicated that 1,103 positions will have been made available, according to Edward I. Bluth, MD and colleagues. Further, the authors forecast 1,227 radiologists being hired in 2014.

“Compared with previous attempts to evaluate the workforce, we feel that this survey methodology is more robust because … we are able to survey the universe of radiology practices,” Bluth wrote recently in the Journal of the American College of Radiology. (Source: HealthImaging)

While the prediction of a stable workforce may ease concerns radiologists have had in the past about the availability of jobs due to the tumult within the healthcare industry, the authors do pose one caveat: you are likely not to work in your chosen subspecialty or preferred locale.

“Approximately 1,200 residents complete their studies each year; according to our calculations, there seems to be a job open for each resident but not necessarily in the subspecialty, geographic area, or type of practice that the resident desires,” wrote Bluth et al. The South, West, Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic states will feature the most opportunities, and the greatest needs will be for general radiologists, followed by breast imagers, according to the authors.

Graduating Residents Open to Change

While the study does not identify the age range of residents who will be completing their studies and entering the medical imaging field, we can make a few assumptions based on the “typical” age of a person finishing his or her residency. These graduating residents most likely will be the first of the Millennial Generation born in 1982, which is good news all around.

According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are confident, connected and open to change. So, relocating to another part of the country or adapting to the shifting realities of the marketplace is “all good” as a 30-something radiologist might say.

They’ve also been called the “Tech Generation,” suggesting a comfort level with technology that their predecessors do not share. This will serve radiologists well in their job search as advances in medical imaging continue to highlight the importance of possessing a tech-savvy skill set.

Do you see a generational difference in how radiologists interact with technology?

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