From Training to Practice: 4 Tips for a Smooth Transition

April 5, 2021
Whitney J. Palmer

Moving into practice presents challenges, but new providers can proactively take steps to quickly familiarize themselves with a new job.

Making that switch from training to practice can be an exciting time, but it can present some challenges along the way. There are, however, strategies new providers can use to make the transition easier.

In an opinion article published April 3 in the Journal of the American College of Radiology, a five-member group led by Amy Patel, M.D., medical director of Women’s Imaging Center at Liberty Hospital outlined four main tips that can help new radiologists leaving training gain a solid footing.

“The first 6-to-12 months are crucial when transitioning to practice,” the team said. “The learning curve is step with many variables.”

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Whether you opt for academic, private, or teleradiology practice, keep these things in mind:

  • Culture: Make is a priority to get a good understanding of who the key players are in your new facility or institution, as well as the examining the culture. Doing so is “imperative” to your success.
  • Impression: How you present yourself in your first few months is critical. Practice positivity and humility while exhibiting a “can-do attitude.” Maintaining these behaviors can go a long way in helping you assimilate into the practice. And, even though it may be tempting, don’t try to change things right when you start your job even if you think it might be beneficial.
  • Listen: When starting your career, keeping your eyes and ears open is paramount. Based on what you see, you can have informed conversations with your colleagues and knowledgably contribute to making positive changes in the office.
  • Time investment: Be prepared to stay late and invest the time needed to become familiar with the way your institution does things. It can take a while to learn a new PACS system, figure out dictation templates, or get into a rhythm with the existing workflow, but putting in the effort with improve your clinical efficiency.

Following these four steps can go a long way toward helping you feel comfortable in your new professional home, the team said.

“This extra time will speed the acclimation process and allow for most new radiologists to substantially improve their efficiency over the first year,” they said.