As radiologists we chose our vocation for many individual reasons – a love of medicine, radiology’s key role in diagnosis, the ever-developing technology, the chance to make a difference. Qualifying as a radiologist takes many years, but what if there is not a job at the end? Planning the radiology workforce is a complex issue for any country. Factors affecting demand include not only the changing scope of radiology practice in the public sector and the private sector, but also the availability and role of radiology technicians, what equipment there is, and much more.
Back in 2009 (Vol. 9(2))
, IMAGING Management asked, “Is your department recession proof?” We examined the likely impact of the global recession on medical imaging and provided tools to assist those thinking about taking preventive measures in their department. Three years on and the global financial crisis persists. Now we look at the job prospects for radiologists in different economic regions. What has been the impact of the global financial crisis, and how do we ensure a stable level of radiologists to see us through to the future in this difficult time? What are the trends in supply and demand in the medical imaging workforce across the globe? Inevitably this is a snapshot, but it is possible to see patterns.
While demand for radiology is increasing, it is not always possible to fund the number of radiology posts needed. Young radiologists can and do benefit from spending part of their career in another country, but the risk may be that they never return to the country which trained them. In many countries there is a shortage of radiologists. How do we provide a top quality service if there are not enough radiologists? Might teleradiology fill the gap in some countries, with all that implies?
Our country round-up takes in diverse parts of the world. There are interviews with senior radiologists in Russia (Prof. Valentin Sinitsyn), the UK (Dr. Peter Cavanagh) and Spain (Prof. Pablo Valdés Solís). The situation in Argentina is explained by Prof. Ricardo García-Mónaco, and Editorial Board Member Prof. David Koff describes Canadian circumstances. Next Nick Bradshaw writes about the situation down under in Australia and New Zealand. There are many changes happening in healthcare the U.S., and Editorial Board Member Prof. Stephen Baker writes about job prospects for radiologists there, acknowledging that the golden age of radiology (employment-wise) is coming to an end.
Next, we look at risk management in radiology. Dr. Hubert Ducon Le Pointe writes about the risks in pregnancy, while Dr. Daniel Vetter considers risk management for MRI.
What interests current radiology residents, at the start of the careers? The French Society of Residents recently undertook a survey of residents’ training and career interests, which Dr. Nadya Pyatigorskaya and Dr. Mickaël Ohana describe.
Migrating to another country for employment is certainly easier with a recognised qualification. The European Society of Radiology (ESR) took the initiative to produce a training curriculum in radiology, and since 2011 radiologists have been able to take the European Diploma in Radiology (EDiR). Dr. Éamann Breatnach, Scientific Director of the European Board of Radiology, is interviewed in this issue about the diploma and the next steps towards harmonisation of radiological standards.
Continuing with the theme of qualifications, interventional radiology now has a common syllabus. Maria Zoidl of the Cardiovascular and Interventional Society of Europe (CIRSE) explains the background and aims of this development, which will assist interventional radiologists with a qualification recognised across Europe.
Also in this issue, Professor Antonio Orlacchio, Drs. Chegai, Del Guidice and Tosti and Professor Simonetti provide an overview of radiology and management issues in Italy for our Country Focus. Like other countries in Europe, Italy faces health budget cuts, and the challenge is to make imaging relevant while reducing unnecessary radiological exams.
The European Congress of Radiology 2013 is almost here. We include IMAGING Management’s guide to ECR highlights, which include the Management in Radiology (MIR) sessions on topical management issues. This is the second time MIR has held special sessions at ECR and I hope to see you there.
I welcome your feedback on any of the papers in this issue and your ideas for future issues. Please email me on [email protected]