Improving recruitment and retention in radiology


The demand for radiologists is surging while the supply continues to fall short. This has left radiology practices and health systems grappling with the crucial task of retaining and attracting talent in the face of the Great Resignation.

Radiology Business discussed tips to retain radiologists and residents with Geraldine McGinty, MD, MBA, senior associate dean for clinical affairs and professor of clinical radiology and population health sciences at Weill Cornell Medicine. She spoke on this topic in sessions at the Radiological Society of North America 2023 meeting.

"I really presented it as a leadership talk because in my mind, for us to develop effective teams, recruit, retain the best talent in radiology, it's all up to us as leaders to make sure that we're creating an environment where people can thrive," McGinty said. "There's an adage out there in the business world: 'People don't leave jobs, they leave bosses.'"

Amid increasing retirements, burnout, medical school graduating an insufficient number of new radiologists, and a shortage of residency positions, McGinty highlighted the significance of prioritizing provider wellness. At Weill Cornell Medicine, there is a strong emphasis on fostering a supportive environment. She outlined several strategies implemented within her radiology department:

  • Clarity and support: Defined metrics for success, clear organizational values and robust support mechanisms are vital. Establishing expectations and ensuring these are both communicated and practiced creates a framework for success.
  • Development and mentorship: Providing avenues for growth, effective faculty mentoring, and visible leadership enable radiologists to progress in their careers. McGinty underscored the importance of active mentorship in career advancement.
  • Transparent communication: A visible and accessible department chair fosters an open dialogue. McGinty highlighted the need to track turnover rates and investigate departures proactively, seeking to understand and address the underlying causes.

She also emphasized the importance of engaging residents, showcasing an environment where they can envision a fulfilling career trajectory. This includes having diverse radiology leaders in the department who look like them. 

Increased pay is a motivator, but McGinty said most radiologists are looking for more than money from their job. Motivators beyond compensation include schedule flexibility and autonomy. Beyond financial incentives, offering radiologists the freedom to balance professional commitments with personal life through remote work options and flexible schedules emerged as crucial retention tools.

"Flexibility and autonomy are so key for physicians, enabling some remote work, making sure that people aren't bogged down with training and meetings that are eating into the time that they might have with their families," McGinty said. She further emphasized the need to acknowledge and accommodate diverse personal responsibilities, whether they are childcare, personal health, or caring for aging parents.

McGinty's insights provide a roadmap for hospitals and healthcare institutions seeking to address the challenges of recruitment and retention in radiology. By prioritizing wellness, professional growth, transparent communication and flexibility, institutions can create environments where radiologists feel valued, support and empowered to thrive professionally and personally.

"Those are really important things. We're not there yet, but I think we're making a lot of progress," she said. 

McGinty is an expert in imaging economics, having served as chair of the American College of Radiology Commission on Economics and was the radiology member of the American Medical Association’s Relative Value Update Committee. She was also chair of the ACR's Board of Chancellors.

Dave Fornell is a digital editor with Cardiovascular Business and Radiology Business magazines. He has been covering healthcare for more than 16 years.

Dave Fornell has covered healthcare for more than 17 years, with a focus in cardiology and radiology. Fornell is a 5-time winner of a Jesse H. Neal Award, the most prestigious editorial honors in the field of specialized journalism. The wins included best technical content, best use of social media and best COVID-19 coverage. Fornell was also a three-time Neal finalist for best range of work by a single author. He produces more than 100 editorial videos each year, most of them interviews with key opinion leaders in medicine. He also writes technical articles, covers key trends, conducts video hospital site visits, and is very involved with social media. E-mail:

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