The Best Time to Be A Radiologist   

Radiology is probably the most exciting field of medicine to be in right now.

Yes – reimbursements are less generous.
Yes – volume is paradoxically increasing, and we are busier than ever.
Yes – you spend most of your time away from patients.

Physicians are inherent scientists. We observe a pattern and draw a line of extrapolation. We do this subconsciously and assign value to these insights. If reimbursement decreased by 10% from last year, in 12 years we will be left with 35% what we started with!  However, we now know drawing lines using historical data requires a nuanced approach.

The best time to get involved in a profession as a young professional is at a time of rapid change. History records only times of conflict, of artistic or cultural debate, of Renaissance, the industrial revolution, and the digital age. Change is the enemy of stability and favors the adaptable. Change gives rise to new ideas and new efforts. Change is why Silicon Valley start-ups rise and fall with the ticking clock but yet remain some of the most exciting careers in today’s America.

It is in the midst of fluctuation, not stability, that we find the most fulfilling career opportunities. Radiology doesn’t guarantee success – your medical training did that for you. Radiology offers an environment to be creative precisely because so much of its future is in the air rather than in stone carvings.

So will you seize the unique opportunity and guide the flow of an entire medical discipline at a time of your life when you are best suited for it? If you have always been fascinated by medical imaging, now is the time to jump in.

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Howard Chen
Vice Chair for Artificial Intelligence at Cleveland Clinic Diagnostics Institute
Howard is passionate about making diagnostic tests more accurate, expedient, and affordable through disciplined implementation of advanced technology. He previously served as Chief Informatics Officer for Imaging, where he led teams deploying and unifying radiology applications and AI in a multi-state, multi-hospital environment. Blog opinions are his own and in no way reflect those of the employer.

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