Ninety-nine percent of chief residents responding to a recent survey said they are at least a little worried about the current job market, with 33 percent reporting they are very worried. More than 67 percent reported they have not begun looking for a job. The survey, administered by the American Alliance of Academic Chief Residents in Radiology (A3CR2), elicited responses from 134 chief residents representing 99 unique radiology residency programs.
Nine in 10 respondents felt that, in light of healthcare reform, practices will try to increase their volume to maintain a similar salary despite the lower reimbursement rates. As for the effect of reform on the attractiveness of the radiology specialty, 70 percent believe reform will discourage top-tier medical students from choosing radiology. About 40 percent of respondents felt that the effects of healthcare reform will prompt practices to look for radiologists trained in more than one fellowship.
Views on the new American Board of Radiology Core Examination in Diagnostic Radiology are mixed. Advantages cited by respondents included how the new exam incorporates physics into clinical knowledge, allows residents to synthesize their fund of knowledge earlier in training and provides the same test-taking experience to all trainees. Respondents also noted disadvantages, including the 15-month wait period post-graduation to be board certified, making it more challenging to find a job.
The exam will eventually be administered during the third year of radiology residency. More than half of the respondents reported that their programs will allow residents to take time out of the call-pool to prepare; a quarter of programs plan to give residents time off service and nearly 70 percent plan to administer an internal board review.
Regarding senior selectives or “mini-fellowships,” the survey revealed that 80 percent of programs plan to offer seniors more focused rotations, on average a total of 24 weeks during the year, to provide an additional concentration on knowledge outside of fellowship, supplement their planned fellowship, or fill in gaps of knowledge prior to graduation. Many programs plan for seniors on these rotations to function fully or partially as fellows.
Read the full results of the 2013 Chief Resident Survey, as well as results from previous surveys, at aur.org/Secondary-Alliances.aspx?id=501.
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