Understanding the Millennial Radiologist

December 26, 2017

Tips for millennial radiologists and the people who work with them.

By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the workforce.

Is your hospital or private practice ready?

Whether you’re a millennial or not, understanding this generation is key to running a successful hospital radiology department or private practice. During the RSNA 2017session, “The Newly Hired Radiologist: Lessons for Aspiring, New and Committed Radiologists,” attendees heard from speakers who covered a variety of issues facing millennial radiologists - and the people who work with them.

Millennial Radiologists: Don’t Give Up

Anastasia Hryhorczuk, MD, from Michigan Medicine said she’s a little concerned when she Googles “millennials in medicine.” That’s because she finds searches related to this term that include: “medical student entrepreneur,” “consulting after residency,” and “dropout doctors.”

She’s worried millennials aren’t putting their medical degree to use in a hospital or private practice setting. When evaluating a work environment that might be less than ideal, she encouraged attendees to ask themselves a few questions about some issues that might be bothersome. With a few tweaks or changed mindset, trouble spots can be fixed.

• Toxic people: Is it just one person or is it everyone in your department? Assuming it’s just a few toxic people, is there anything you can do to avoid them? “And if you think the whole department is toxic…maybe it’s just you,” she said, with a laugh.

• Finding the right match: Are you doing general radiology when you have a subspecialty? Is the work you’re doing making you feel uncomfortable? “It’s important to be in a positon where you’re doing what you were trained and hired to do,” Hryhorczuk said. “If not, that could lead to dissatisfaction, but you can always talk to someone about making changes.”

• Give it time: She urged attendees not to give up on their career at the beginning - even if the first year or so might be a little rough. “You can work in an environment where you feel supported, confident, and take care of patients. You can find a home in radiology, but you can’t quit before you start.”

Create Content That Appeals to Millennial Residents

With more and more physicians using social media, Kate Hanneman, MD, from Toronto General Hospital talked about how to develop content that appealed to millennial radiologists throughout their medical school years. She encouraged attendees to use YouTube’s Radiology Channel, RSNA Diagnosis Live, and Poll Everywhere in the classroom and during rounds.

She’s also developed online video content that students can watch before rounds. This is “evergreen” content that she can re-use for next year’s batch of residents, too. She uses tools such as Camtasia and Explain Everything to develop content.

“Residents really like learning this way,” Hanneman said. “It’s easy for them to get on their phones and interact with the material. For example, let’s say we’re discussing a case and I ask a question on Poll Everywhere, but a lot of residents don’t answer correctly. This gives me a chance to spend more time on the case and to explain what’s happening in more depth.”

Time For a Job? 9 Tips For Future Radiologists

Michael Veronesi, MD, PhD, at IU School of Medicine discussed what young radiologists could do to make sure they land in a hospital environment in which they could thrive. His advice:

 

• Consider a fellowship, especially in a competitive job market.

• Start your job search early. Interview often.

• Compare your salary to people only in your geographical area. If you’re considering a job in Indiana, you’ll make less than your friends who work in New York, due to the cost of living.

• Be forthright at all times during the interview process.

• Meet as many faculty members as you can during the interview process.

• Leave the door open to future possibilities, even to hospitals that you turn down.

• Put an emphasis on working in a collegial environment. You want to be able to tap someone on the shoulder and say: “I have a question about this.”

• Find a culture that’s the right “fit” for you.

• And once you get the job, surround yourself with colleagues who are smarter and work harder than you do.

Exploring a Career in Private Practice

Brent Wagner, MD, at West Reading Radiology Associates discussed private practice, a popular career path for radiologists. He said it’s important to work for an organization that emphasizes fairness, communicates expectations, and promotes inclusion and transparency.

For example, at his practice, he tells radiologists when they join the group, they don’t get any holidays off their first year.

“It’s really important to tell people upfront what to expect,” Wagner said. “That way, when the holidays come around - they know what they’ve signed up for. We tell them that we’re investing in people for 20 years and there will be plenty of holidays they can take off in the future.”

He also tells millennials to be patient with their Baby Boomer bosses, especially when it comes to presenting new ideas on how to shape the practice.

“We might not be as adaptive to the marketplace as you are, so your ideas are important,” Wagner said. “But there needs to be a balance between innovation and disruption. I tell people that they need to work with us for three months - and then, once they understand the practice, give us your ideas. We want to listen.”