12 Ways Radiology Residents, Fellows Can Be Indispensible

December 17, 2013
Marcia Frellick

Norman Beauchamp, MD, MHS, offers his tips for how residents and fellows can really become a valued member of the radiology group.

In his position as chairman of the radiology department at the University of Washington, Norman Beauchamp, MD, MHS, gets to be both talent scout and someone who can enable careers.

At a recent RSNA 2013 session in Chicago, he offered a few tips for fellows and residents to help them “become someone you absolutely wouldn’t want to lose.”

Among his tips are:

1. Choose an environment for success. Before you even start your job, interact with your boss and make sure he or she is someone you can trust, respect and communicate with. Determine in negotiations whether they are interested in your success.

2. Be driven to be positive, professional and personable. “Don’t act as if it’s a job; act as if you’re an owner.”

3. Keep learning. Study people who are doing the job right. Who seems indispensable?

4. Get a mentor. The best mentors need to be recruited. Sometimes the best mentors are the busiest and you may need to ask persistently.

5. Have a vision and a plan. “Never, ever go to a meeting with someone you report to without an agenda.” Include in the agenda your top three goals, what you’re working on, what you need help with.

6. Don’t be a complainer. Present problems as opportunities and tell the boss how you’ve tried to solve it. “Solvers are absolutely indispensable.”

7. Be a leader. Step in when others are unwilling to do so. Help others believe in themselves.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"12399","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_9836482713146","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"1517","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"float: right; margin: 5px;","title":"Norman Beauchamp, MD, MHS","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

8. Create something. “I tell our residents, I tell our fellows that the first question I will ask them if they are interviewing for a job is ‘Tell me what you did to make the department better that wasn’t your job.’” Build a website, form a professional group, stage a fund-raiser or charity run, organize a volunteer day, suggest curriculum changes.

9. Maintain an unwavering belief in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, how will others?

10. Build a team. Surround yourself with excellence. Your productivity will skyrocket. Be generous in giving credit to all who did the work that resulted in success.

11. Manage your time. Don’t reverse delegate. If a member of your team isn’t executing, talk with them but don’t do the work for them.

12. Understand the rules. Make sure you know what it takes to get promoted. Ask every year when you meet with your boss, “Am I on track for promotion?”

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