RBMA Young Professionals group helps groom next radiology management leaders


There are concerns about the growing shortage of radiologists and technologists, but there is also concern about the need to groom younger radiology management staff to take over higher administration positions as leaders retire. 

Raquel Roman, chair of the Radiology Business Management Association (RBMA) Young Professionals Committee and director of growth at Essential Radiology, spoke with Radiology Business at the RBMA 2024 meeting about how the group is trying to get younger staff involved, She said RBMA can help train and mentor them so they are better positioned to assume higher management positions. The Young Professionals had a record attendance at this year's at RBMA meeting.

"When I joined the RBMA six years ago, I really wanted to know why there were not more members because there is a wealth of knowledge that is offered by the people that are here. So, I joined the Young Professionals Committee to begin spreading the good word about RBMA. As practice and hospital administrators begin retiring, we need to start building the next generation. We have to invest in our young people," Roman said. 

She said RBMA is building momentum as practices find value in helping to train younger, less experienced radiology management staff. Beyond sessions, Roman said it is also about networking and older members mentoring newer members. 

She said this effort is working, as a couple fellow members of her committee received an award, and another was just named to the RBMA Board of Directors at this year's meeting.

"This is the next generation. These are the people who in 15-20 years will be taking over and we have to set the stage for the professionals now and to keep bringing in more people. When people retire it is a loss and we need to start absorbing their knowledge and experience now," Roman explained.   

When some of the current generation managers retire, she said it becomes a loss for imaging departments and practices because years of knowledge are suddenly lost, and that it can take years to rebuild it. Even bringing in outside experienced managers to replace them, it takes time for them to learn the specifics of a practice and to get to know the radiologists and staff. Mentoring existing, younger staff at a practice with RBMA education and networking can help enable them to step up and assume the roles that become vacant, smoothing transitions.

Getting practice management staff up to speed in radiology and its lingo

Most people do not go to school with the goal of becoming involved specifically in radiology business management or medical imaging coding, Roman said. But often when they find themselves in that niche, they stick with it the rest of their careers. But, when they start out in a radiology role, they often need to be brought up to speed very quickly. 

"What the RBMA does is it has radiology 101 resources that teaches new, fresh faces in the industry how to understand billing, what is RCM, and what PACS is. These are all things most of us kind of just know because we have been here so long. This helps build a really solid foundation," Roman explained. 

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Marty Stempniak

Marty Stempniak has covered healthcare since 2012, with his byline appearing in the American Hospital Association's member magazine, Modern Healthcare and McKnight's. Prior to that, he wrote about village government and local business for his hometown newspaper in Oak Park, Illinois. He won a Peter Lisagor and Gold EXCEL awards in 2017 for his coverage of the opioid epidemic. 

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