Recently, I received a question from one of my readers about the ultimate radiology job. What kind of job would it be? Well, I was about to spit out the dull answer; there is no perfect job for everyone, which is true. However, I thought about this question more deeply. I figured I could get a little more down and dirty because there might be a perfect job for a specific sort of person. So, I will do just that.
Let’s talk about the ideal job for three different particular kinds of radiology personalities. The first would be the perfect job for the lifestyle radiologist. The second would be for the academic radiologist. Finally, the third would be the money-loving radiologist that wants to pay off all their debts as quickly as possible. At the end of each description, I will give you what I think would be a reasonable but high-end salary for the sort of job I describe. You can’t have all the lifestyle features with all the money. And, you can’t be hardcore academic and always have the best lifestyle. But, you can indeed find a job in radiology with at least one of these features!
Lifestyle Radiologist’s Ultimate Radiology Job
Optimal Working Time
Picture this. You get up late at 10 am without a furrow in your brow after taking a stroll with your dog down the street. Afterward, you come back home and start to work at 11 am at your own pace. You encounter nary an interruption. After a few hours of work, you decide you have had enough for today. So, you take a shower and plan your next vacation to Thailand. Of course, you have 16 weeks of vacation per year, so it’s not too difficult to find time for this next adventure. You spend a leisurely dinner with the family, and the day ends smoothly.
The next day you decide to get up a bit earlier because you had gotten more than enough sleep the day before. Today is your day to come to work. Out of every three days of work per week, you stay at home one day, the other one you come in for, and the third is a miscellaneous day to catch up on the practice’s studies in no particular place and without hurry.
Friendly Practice Situation
As you arrive, all the techs and nurses greet you excitedly and are happy to see you. You are well-liked in the imaging center. You start reading through interesting films in your subspecialty that no one else can read because of the complexity. Of course, there is a smattering of normal cases every once in a while in between. Lunchtime finally arrives around noon. You decide to meet with your colleagues for about an hour and go to a fancy restaurant to chat and enjoy the lunch break like you do whenever you go to work. You return to work unrushed and unfettered in no rush to complete the rest of the day’s work because you could always finish the rest some other time.
The following day, the last one of the week, you help the practice to catch up on occasional studies that come through. You log on from home and leisurely read your cases. You make a few phone calls, and you complete your day’s work in a few hours. Of course, you may not get paid like other radiologists who do more. But, the time off is worth it!
Radiologist Pay:350,000 dollars
Academic Radiologist’s Ultimate Radiology Job
Out of every five days of work, you have three full days to work on your academic research. Of course, that does not include the eight weeks out of every year that you receive paid speaking engagements or have time for continuing medical education (CME). Moreover, you have the support staff that most others can only dream about. These include two statisticians, a research coordinator, and your secretary. And you have the software and backup to quickly garner the resources to create well-sourced papers at the drop of a hat. Additionally, you have help from the administration for obtaining grants from private and public sources. This help includes multiple connections that overcome many of the hurdles that other academics may encounter.
Then, of course, you have a couple of days out of every week to resume clinical work. But, you have the help of your resident, fellow, and junior attending. They do most of the dictation, and you get to edit and sign off on their reports. Your residents and fellows and your observers also do much of the grunt work to help you create your next research paper.
Also, you have easy access and collaboration with multiple different specialties throughout the institution. No one is at each other throats. Everyone is willing and able to help each other to come up with great ideas for projects. It’s an environment that fosters learning and research.
Finally, you have already accumulated tenure at your institution. There is almost no way that you can be “canned.” You have put in the time, and the work has paid you back in spades.
Radiologist Pay: 550,000 dollars
Money Loving Radiologist Ultimate Radiology Job
This radiologist is willing to work as hard as it takes to repay all their student loans as quickly as possible and accumulate enough income to retire as soon as possible. That is the prime goal of this radiologist. And, she has found the job that she needs to meet this goal.
First of all, she found a job where her practice pays her precisely what she is worth for each case, plus a stipend from the hospital because she is in a somewhat underserved location. Her days are busy, but they go by fast. She reads 200 cases a day, and the caseload is light on findings but large in number. Fortunately, she also works in an area where the case complexity is relatively low, and the payer mix is quite high. Of course, she doesn’t take much of a break during the day, but she works hard all day and reaps the rewards.
She also has the backup she needs to increase her speed when it comes to radiologist support. These include radiology assistants, a fabulous computer IT department, and an excellent dictation system. She works five days a week and gets paid a lot of extra when she works on the weekends. But most critically, she has the option to do that when she wants. Finally, she gets lots of vacation but only takes a few weeks out of the year to go away because she doesn’t want to do this job for the rest of her life. She would rather have the cash instead.
Radiologist Pay: 800,000 dollars
The Ultimate Radiology Job- What Do You Think?
You may or may not think that any of these jobs sound so great to you. And that is OK. However, these scenarios are perfectly reasonable for these individuals and can present an ideal situation for these individualized career paths. If you have an idea for the perfect job, let me know, and I can come up with another scenario for you!