By Debra Wood, RN, contributor Jul 29, 2019
trends for radiologists are looking up, with more opportunities for both new
graduates and experienced professionals.
is a radiologist shortage,” said Claire E.
Bender, MD, chair of the American College of Radiology’s human resources commission
and lead author of the 2018 ACR
Commission on Human Resources Workforce Survey, published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology in April 2019.
survey indicated a relatively stable hiring environment currently exists, with positive
employment trends for radiologists. In fact, the survey reported a 30 percent increase
in radiologist job openings in just one year, from 1,393 in 2017 to 1,808 in
question of pending retirements creates some unknowns for the next few years,
according to Bender, as seven percent of radiologists are older than 65 years
and 19 percent are 56 to 65 years.
Review of Physician and Advanced Practitioner Recruiting Incentives
by Merritt Hawkins found that radiology was the fifth most-requested physician search
in 2018/2019. In 2012, radiology was not even in the top 20 searches.
“The job market overall has
gotten much better for new graduates,” said Cory Pfeifer, MD, an assistant
professor of radiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
in Dallas. “It has always been hard to find a desirable job in New York City,
for example, but a lot of markets have opened up recently to let new graduates
8 employment trends affecting radiologists
1. Consolidation of practices
workforce survey reported the number of radiology groups represented decreased
from 1,811 in 2017 to 1,588 in 2018, which indicates more consolidation. The
number of private practices decreased from 55 percent in 2015 to 46 percent in
2018. Increases were seen in academic universities, multispecialty clinic and
are economic benefits in numbers,” Bender said. “You can share resources and
reduce duplication of resources.”
2. Corporate employment
still not the majority of the hiring, corporation radiologist jobs were expected
to increase to 12 percent in 2018, up from 3 percent in 2017, according to the
2018 ACR survey.
look at those ACR workforce surveys over the years, there are less and less
practices because of the consolidation,” Pfeifer said.
example, Radiology Partners of El Segundo, California, is growing. In July
2019, it announced entering the Atlanta market and reported it serves more than
1,000 hospitals and other health care facilities in 21 states. The company,
funded with a $60 million capital investment from a global venture capital
firm, employs about 1,350 radiologists.
As radiologists decide to retire, Pfeifer explained,
normally you “would sell stock in your practice to new doctors who would pay
you over time and become partners with ownership privileges, but venture
capitalists seized on the opportunity to employ cheaply from about 2011 to
2017, and that is kind of where we are today.”
3. Full-time vs. part-time
2018 ACR survey found 18 percent of practices reporting radiologists had switched
from full-time to part-time employment in 2017. The paper indicates more women
radiologists are working part time.
also offers radiologist jobs with part-time hours. Some groups contract with teleradiology
services to read images 24 hours per day.
are also able to choose from assignments that offer part-time or full-time
4. Where the jobs are
The 2018 ACR survey predicts
more hiring of radiologists for breast imaging, neuroradiology and
interventional radiology. Additionally, Bender reported abdominal imaging and
neuroradiology are in-demand specialties.
5. Salary trends
Merritt Hawkins survey reported an average radiologist salary in 2018/2019 of
$387,000, with teleradiology slightly lower at $360,000. The highest salaries
are paid by group practices at $413,000, followed by hospitals at $388,000. From
2018 to 2019, starting salaries increased 4.3 percent.
bonuses range from $10,000 to $100,000. Average salaries for radiologists are
highest in the Southeast, at $425,000, while the Northeast average salary is $310,000
and the West $300,000.
reported that people wanting to live near San Francisco, New York or Boston
often are willing to take less pay to live in those cities and work for what
some people consider prestigious teaching institutions. Additionally, Boston
and New York continue to train radiologists, creating an oversupply.
rates for locum tenens radiology jobs vary depending on location, subspecialty and facility, with
some contracts paying up to $240 per hour, according to Staff Care’s database
of locum assignments.
physicians seeking a career in radiology continue to pursue fellowships.
“At the end of the day, 90
percent of radiology residents still go on to fellowship to enhance the
marketability of their skills, and this fellowship training rarely garners more
salary,” Pfeifer said.
continues to influence radiologist jobs. Advances in the field, including artificial
intelligence, can make imaging more effective. Among the employment trends for
radiologists, the Merritt Hawkins report found that facilities are looking to
hire both on-site practitioners and teleradiologists.
“Computers make our jobs easier
and easier every year which means that we can do more with fewer radiologists,
and this will likely continue,” Pfeifer said. “Also, those consolidated groups
can work more efficiently because the Internet brings their studies to them in
large batches simultaneously from many distant locations.”
added that computers and artificial intelligence will not replace radiologists.
The combination of electronic tools and skilled radiologists will make care
safer and better.
8. Faster, patient-centered
reports now are completed within a couple of hours of the imaging, a trend Bender
attributes to the patient-centered care philosophy.
technology is fast and the availability of radiologists should be so fast, we
should be able to generate that report quickly,” Bender said.
added that the future looks bright for radiology professionals. “The demand for
radiology continues. The successful hiring continues. There will be plenty of
jobs for finishing residents.”
Key Health Care Trends to Watch in 2019
STAFF CARE specializes in helping radiologists
and other physicians and advanced practitioners find their ideal part-time or
full-time locum tenens assignments across the country.
BROWSE RADIOLOGIST JOBS