Saturday, January 5, 2013

Radiology Stress?

One Dr Matthew Rifkin had a post up on KevinMD the other day expressing the fearful notion that radiologists are facing unprecedented challenges.  And by "challenges", what he means is that his specialty is starting to experience some push back from private insurers and Medicare on their heretofore rather generous reimbursements. 

He writes:  "The nice 9-to-5 lifestyle and never being on call started to fade away, making the stress associated with radiologists lives become more apparent"

Horror of horrors!  Next thing you know, someone will demand that radiologists wear pagers. Or actually talk to each patient after a study is performed.  Or take less than 6 weeks of vacation per year.  Pajamas/slipper ensembles could be banned from darkened viewing rooms.  It's like something out of Germinal.  You can only push a man so far until rebellion erupts from his heart. 

Of course this silly rant is all in the context of radiology inexplicably  being one of the most lucrative specialties one could choose.  From Medscape:
 In 2011, radiologists were the highest-compensated of all specialties surveyed, tied with Orthopedists. Respondents earned a mean income of $315,000 – about 10% less than in Medscape's 2011 survey. Fully one third of radiologists earned $400,000 or more, although this proportion was down from the 2011 survey. Almost one half (48%) earned from $300,000 to about $500,000.


Sara said...

What it seems Dr. Rifkin was trying to do was to explain the stressors behind radiologists' feelings with new healthcare changes. I think it's important to understand those things but instead of accepting them, finding radiologists that take the time to see each of their patients. They say it never happens, but good radiologists like that do exist! For instance, the rads at Rosetta Radiology in Manhattan are known for seeing each and every one of their patients!

Frank Drackman said...

What would a radiologist talk to a patient about anyway?
OK, I guess theoretically they could discuss the findings, implications, further workup,
Have you talked to a Radiologist lately? They make Steven Hawkins sound glib...


MM said...

With an entitlement complex like that, it's probably better that they don't interact with patients.

But seriously, how the f*** did they get to be the highest paid specialty when they have some of the fewest physical demands--all are psychologically demanding, so that's not a differentiator--and have to make some of the fewest lifestyle sacrifices?

And why isn't the rest of the medical community raising hell about this?