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  • Hiring Practices and Workplace Discrimination

  • By: Kenneth A. Buckwalter, M.D.

  • Scenario 1 of 4

    Your large radiology group has multiple service locations. A radiologist position at your North Office—which is an established, busy outpatient location—has become available because of a retiring partner. The workload of this outpatient practice has been stable over the last several years, and the retiring partner has not been directly involved in practice management activities during this time. You are the chair of the department’s Human Resources Committee, which is in the process of evaluating the best candidate for the position. Your colleagues Tim and Bob, both of whom live close to the North Office, have each expressed an interest in this position.

    Tim joined the group 2 years ago after completing his abdominal fellowship at a prominent institution. Tim is a 32-year-old dynamic individual with excellent interpersonal skills and excellent clinician relationships. He has rapidly become one of the most productive members of your group. You view it as quite likely that Tim will become a partner within a few years. Tim has a young wife and two small children. Tim works today at Good Faith Hospital, a 70-minute one-way commute.

    Bob has been with the group 15 years and has been a group partner for 11 years. Bob is 52 years old and reserved, a solid diagnostician with average productivity. Bob is divorced, and his children are young adults. Bob works at People’s Hospital, a 45-minute one-way commute.

    You are interested in the position, since this would also shorten your daily commute to work. You have been with the group 8 years and have been a partner for 4 years, with below-average productivity. However, you perform a lot of administrative work for the group and have done so successfully. You are 38 years old and the busy mother of three teenagers, and you have a 40-minute one-way commute to your South Office location.

    While perusing your options in filling this open radiologist position, you recall that you recently attended a CME course on workforce management that covered Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (1), as well as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (2). These laws prohibit age discrimination against employees who are age 40 years and older. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces these laws to ensure that workplace discrimination does not occur (3,4).

    Question 1 of 5: Your radiology group has no formal policy with respect to seniority and hiring. As far as you know, this position requires skills possessed by all general radiologists. What would be the best choice for the Human Resources Committee to fill this position?


     Arrange to have the job offered to yourself because you are the busiest of the three.


    Offer the job to Tim because he is a practice builder and is best qualified.



    Offer the job to Bob because he has seniority.



    Perform an external job search because there is no suitable internal candidate.



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