Mentorship is key to growing the radiology field

By AuntMinnie.com staff writers

February 21, 2020 -- Radiology residents are more likely to have had positive mentorship experiences in medical school that drew them to the field than their nonradiology counterparts, according to a study published February 20 in Academic Radiology.

They are also more likely to disagree with the idea that technology will replace radiologists and to desire to work in a higher-income specialty, compared with their nonradiology peers, wrote a team led by Dr. Darya Kurowecki of McMaster Hospital, Hamilton Health Sciences, in Hamilton, Ontario.

Nonradiology residents "showed a higher level of concern regarding the potential negative impact of technology and outsourcing on the profession," the group wrote.

The number of first-choice applicants to diagnostic radiology has declined over the past decade, according to Kurowecki and colleagues. The group sought to identify factors contributing to the waning interest in diagnostic radiology as a career with a study that included 152 resident physicians who completed a survey between July and August 2017 about factors affecting career choice. Of 152 respondents, 20 were radiology residents and 132 were nonradiology residents. The majority (27%) were in their first year.

Kurowecki's group found that radiology residents were drawn to the field in part because of its diverse applications. Residents who did not choose to pursue radiology cited lack of patient contact and a dark work environment as deterring factors.

Mentorship is an important way to draw new physicians into radiology, the group concluded.

"As positive interactions with radiologists and mentorship are key influencers, our results advocate for early training exposure and reinforcement regarding the positive outlook of the profession," the authors wrote.


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