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Almost everyone I've talked to including some radiologists are discouraging others from going into radiology. Is there a specific reason behind this? Is outsourced telemedicine the primary cause or decreasing reimbursements? Also, does the downgrading of the field only apply to diagnostic radiology or the subspecilities like IR as well?
 

Gadofosveset

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Both diagnostic and interventional radiology are great fields of medicine if you have a realistic idea of what they entail. The fields actually involve some effort, which confused and embittered some trainees. Cuts in some key reimbursement -- which happened a while ago -- brought salaries down from outrageous to average, which embittered just about everyone in the field.

Radiology is not going to be outsourced. If anything, the trend is going the other way.
No computer is going to figure out how to reliably read images in our lifetime, etc.

Radiology's future is complex. It is involved in many different technologies and many different aspects of health care. The economic future of Rads will track along with the market for healthcare in general. The trend has been toward more involvement in patient care and more specialization, which requires more effort. Older rads, in particular, resist this. The trend has also been toward decreased reimbursements and increasing bureaucracy, similar to healthcare in general.

I would encourage anyone to try rads out as a med student and see if it is a good fit as a discipline. It was a good fit for me.
 
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W19

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Radiology was on the top of my list, but after reading the rad forum, it is definitely at the bottom now... As a nontrad student, I can not afford to do a fellowship and that is common in the field now if you want to get a job. In addition, I don't want to live in the middle of nowhere. Major cities and suburbia are saturated according to some in the rad forum...
 

Gadofosveset

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Fellowships are now essentially mandatory. Total training time is 6 years.

Northeast and west coast are saturated.

Examine the dice before you choose a specialty, though. Rad Onc supposedly has similar problems. GI proceduralists have similar problems from what I've been told. There probably aren't many fields of medicine in which you can order up the job you want, where you want, at a salary you want. Pick two.
 

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Fellowships are now essentially mandatory. Total training time is 6 years.

Northeast and west coast are saturated.

Examine the dice before you choose a specialty, though. Rad Onc supposedly has similar problems. GI proceduralists have similar problems from what I've been told. There probably aren't many fields of medicine in which you can order up the job you want, where you want, at a salary you want. Pick two.
Location is a major priority to me... Therefore, Psych/FM/IM are looking more and more attractive...
 
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Please don't make major life decisions based on browsing forums. The unhappiest are the most vocal.

I'm just starting residency, but I chose Radiology because I love it--it interests me more than any other field and feels like the best fit. You couldn't pay me enough to do FM or Psych regardless of location, but that's just me. :p

Agree with everything Gad said above.
 

Cyal

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I am on my radiology elective. Overall, the job market is tight and you must do a fellowship. It is also difficult to pick your preferred location. However, there is anticipation that the market will pick back up probably in another 10 or so years, since >20% of radiologists are over age 60, according to one attending. One also said IR is getting tighter, but it is still better than general rads.

In addition, the outsourcing fear is mythical--it won't happen. You need a license to practice radiology. Rads isn't going anywhere. It is also a field which requires vast amounts of knowledge and reading.
 

Chemdude

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Most of the negative stuff you hear about radiology is exaggerated. Radiologists are still making 400k while working a pretty lax schedule. Academic radiology is a 9-5 job with the residents doing most of the work. PP can be a little more hectic, but it's still not too bad. The job market is improving; it's not as bad as sdn or auntminnie makes it out to be. The vast majority of graduating fellows end up finding jobs in reasonable locations. I would much rather read images for 60 hrs/week than see patients or operate for 60 hrs/week. It all comes down to personal preference...

This is the best time to apply to radiology. If you apply now, you will match into a program you wouldn't have even dreamed of applying to 5 year ago.
 
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bc65

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@W19 , why can't you do a fellowship? Another year or two shouldn't make that big a difference.
 

DeucesHigh3

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I always marvel at how much people freak out about needing to do a year of fellowship after rads residency, when it's the same total number of years as most of the IM subspecialties... :shrug:
 

collegestud2013

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Almost everyone I've talked to including some radiologists are discouraging others from going into radiology. Is there a specific reason behind this? Is outsourced telemedicine the primary cause or decreasing reimbursements? Also, does the downgrading of the field only apply to diagnostic radiology or the subspecilities like IR as well?
Mostly the decreasing reimbursements, which have pushed current radiologists to work longer hours (hence the lifestyle isn't what it used to be) to compensate with volume and thus there is a decreased need for the number of radiologists. Also, radiology is one of those fields where older physicians can still work, so they are essentially hogging some of the jobs. Outsourcing with telemedicine is less of an issue internationally mostly for insurance and compliance reasons (you need to be an American trained radiologist to bill American insurance, whether it's Medicare or private insurance), but rural areas can certainly outsource radiologists living in more desirable areas of the country without having to pay the premium that many other specialties do to get physicians to move to less desirable areas. Also, as mentioned in the above post most of this only applies to diagnostic radiology. IR isn't as saturated and the reimbursements haven't taken as much of a hit yet (and it's obviously very difficult to outsource) hence why it is currently the most competitive fellowship within radiology. Also, since many of these economic trends tend to be cyclic over time, as another post also suggested this could also be good timing for someone with a borderline application to match into it before it picks up again. And like many specialties in the last few decades, one of the primary reasons demand for a specialty may pick up is if there are new technological advances within the field that many people want and thus insurance will be willing to reimburse high amounts for (eg think what happened to radiology when CTs first came out, and then MRIs).
 
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Kaustikos

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I like radiology. It wasn't obvious when I realized I was one of the few who looked at the imaging studies not just for my patient but others.
The truth is that compensation is changing and (as I've been told) so are the imaging studies you read a day. Which is turning off people who went into rads not for rads but lifestyle.
Also, I have to agree that you shouldn't put off a specialty because it requires a fellowship. Almost every field requires you to specialize. Even plastic surgery wants you to specialize after being a plastic surgeon.