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Radiologists Following a Different Path

Radiologists Following a Different Path

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  • Nicholas Argy did something after his Boston City Hospital internship that not many doctors do before residency — he went to law school.
  • “Once people know you’re a physician and a lawyer, you get cornered all the time, about quality, medical malpractice, HIPAA, billing, fraud and abuse, and corporate issues, all of which I was excited about,” he said.
  • He now consults with both academic and private practice radiology groups on practice management, business development, and safety and quality.
  • He recommends that anyone thinking of making a change dive deeply into why they want to make a change. “If you still love radiology but there are aspects of it you want to make better, do that,” he said
  • While doing his residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Woojin Kim was inspired to create new applications to make their work more efficient.
  • Kim found a problem in need of a solution, creating a hospital internal search engine to find information on patients and medical imaging studies when the physician couldn’t remember details like patient name or medical record number.
  • He loves the business of radiology, and for the foreseeable future, he will have a hybrid role of being in the business world and the clinical side of radiology.
  • “Being a radiologist and having experience in teleradiology showed me a lot about being efficient and helping radiologists focus on doing what they’re supposed to be doing: interpret images, not be on hold on the phone, dealing with IT issues or doing paperwork. They made me super efficient.”
  • If someone is interested in going into areas outside of radiology, he says that there’s a tremendous value to building up that clinical radiology experience first.
  • Fewer than three years into her NYU career, Vivian Lee was asked to be their Vice Chair for research.
  • “I was intrigued about why academic centers weren’t playing a bigger role in trying to fix health care. There are so many bright people and we’re training the future.
  • Radiology prepared her in a number of ways for the administrative roles. It deepened her understanding of the health care system.
  • “There aren’t enough radiologists represented in leadership of health care systems or policy, which means that the radiology perspective isn’t really heard,” she said.
  • Steven Defossez was trained as an MRI specialist and neuroradiologist, and was in private practice for 24 years as shareholder/partner.
  • “I came to realize that though I love MRI and the folks I worked with, I also liked these administrative responsibilities and challenges,” he said.
  • When he was offered the job, he asked to work four days a week instead of full time, so he could leave one day for clinical work, since his job was physician engagement.
  • “My advice to those thinking about change, is that change can be great,” he said.

Radiology burnout is a topic of frequent discussion among radiologists, and studies continue to look at causes and ways to alleviate it. While three of the radiologists interviewed for this article proactively mentioned burnout as a key issue in radiology today, none of them cited it as a reason that they changed careers.

One did warn, however, that burnout and long hours aren’t restricted to doctors. Those looking for a way out may think the grass is greener elsewhere. “Not true,” said Nicholas Argy, MD. “Lawyers work their tails off. Architects work their tails off. Engineers work their tails off.” These featured physicians may be working their tails off in other areas of health care, but some of them say it doesn’t feel like work, as they’re enjoying it so much. “Physicians have passions beyond radiology,” said Argy. They key is to find that passion.


Congratulations to my previous resident, with respect
Dr K

ewa @

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