Oct 6, 2019
6
2
Status
Medical Student
Whats up nerds! I'm an MS3 pretty set into going into DR and I can't help but to get brought down from all the doom and gloom I read online.

I absolutely love Rads! I have a blast every time I go down to the reading rooms whenever I have free time during rotations, love the minor procedures, love the work environment and flow, love the art that goes into creating a report, love how attendings are absolute masters of knowledge, love the hours (in spite of call). In all honesty, to me it seems like the best specialty and it surprises me that there aren't more medical students jumping to it. Then, in all my excitement, I'll decide to go into some forums to see more about my exciting career choice! More often than not, I am greeted by posts written by current radiologists that are sometimes depressing, namely on AuntMinnie, and they sometimes make me wonder if I'm missing something.

I just wanted to get peoples' take on the doom and gloom painted by online forums sometimes. Maybe I'm looking for reassurance that I'm making the right move? I don't know.
 

r9too

2+ Year Member
Aug 28, 2015
6
1
Then, in all my excitement, I'll decide to go into some forums to see more about my exciting career choice! More often than not, I am greeted by posts written by current radiologists that are sometimes depressing, namely on AuntMinnie, and they sometimes make me wonder if I'm missing something.

I just wanted to get peoples' take on the doom and gloom painted by online forums sometimes. Maybe I'm looking for reassurance that I'm making the right move?
Ironic, innit?
 

cosine89

2+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2016
65
98
Status
Resident [Any Field]
you are:
- 7 years away from an attending position
- 15-20 years from achieving financial independence (maybe shorter or longer depending on your loan situation).

AI will continue to get better. reimbursement will continue to decline. there is no way to know what rads will look like 10-20 years from now. a lot of unknowns.... but the knowns: you will be a broke student/ resident for the next 7 years, and your loans will continue to accrue interest at a high rate.

imo, a lot of the doom and gloom revolves around the above. and i don't think it's fear mongering or unwarranted. entering medicine these days - esp w/ COA - is risky business.
 
OP
C
Oct 6, 2019
6
2
Status
Medical Student
you are:
- 7 years away from an attending position
- 15-20 years from achieving financial independence (maybe shorter or longer depending on your loan situation).

AI will continue to get better. reimbursement will continue to decline. there is no way to know what rads will look like 10-20 years from now. a lot of unknowns.... but the knowns: you will be a broke student/ resident for the next 7 years, and your loans will continue to accrue interest at a high rate.

imo, a lot of the doom and gloom revolves around the above. and i don't think it's fear mongering or unwarranted. entering medicine these days - esp w/ COA - is risky business.
That definitely puts it in a different perspective, thank you! I'm hoping the AI hype is overblown or it will do nothing more than increase Rads productivity, but you're right, that uncertainty is definitely something that weighs heavy in my mind. Thanks for the blunt answer!
 
Oct 6, 2018
36
54
you are:
- 7 years away from an attending position
- 15-20 years from achieving financial independence (maybe shorter or longer depending on your loan situation).

AI will continue to get better. reimbursement will continue to decline. there is no way to know what rads will look like 10-20 years from now. a lot of unknowns.... but the knowns: you will be a broke student/ resident for the next 7 years, and your loans will continue to accrue interest at a high rate.

imo, a lot of the doom and gloom revolves around the above. and i don't think it's fear mongering or unwarranted. entering medicine these days - esp w/ COA - is risky business.
The “attending” position is par for the course for everyone. Everyone knew what they signed up for, so this shouldn’t come as any surprise.

Financial independence taking that long would result from you being irresponsible financially. Even with the absolute worst student loans (north of 400k principal), you should be able to narrow that down with the low end of the radiologist’s salary after 3 years post-residency, counting for interest accruing during residency, not counting for PSFL. Keep in mind many people don’t start medicine until they’re north of 30. Most of the people I know complaining are 24 acting like their life will be miserable because they won’t be able to afford a yacht at 35. This is all part of the larger tendency of people to catastrophize situations nowadays. We will be fine.
 

cosine89

2+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2016
65
98
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Resident [Any Field]
The “attending” position is par for the course for everyone. Everyone knew what they signed up for, so this shouldn’t come as any surprise.

Financial independence taking that long would result from you being irresponsible financially. Even with the absolute worst student loans (north of 400k principal), you should be able to narrow that down with the low end of the radiologist’s salary after 3 years post-residency, counting for interest accruing during residency, not counting for PSFL. Keep in mind many people don’t start medicine until they’re north of 30. Most of the people I know complaining are 24 acting like their life will be miserable because they won’t be able to afford a yacht at 35. This is all part of the larger tendency of people to catastrophize situations nowadays. We will be fine.
no, FI taking that long is with OP being as fiscally responsible as possible.

in your example: 3 years post-residency (year 10), loans gone. very reasonable. OK, now your net worth is like $0-$100k. you're going to need at least another 5-10 years (year 15-20) to amass a NW in which you would be financially independent.
 
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Dave1980

10+ Year Member
Jan 25, 2007
213
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no, FI taking that long is with OP being as fiscally responsible as possible.

in your example: 3 years post-residency (year 10), loans gone. very reasonable. OK, now your net worth is like $0-$100k. you're going to need at least another 5-10 years (year 15-20) to amass a NW in which you would be financially independent.
Agreed. FI 5 years out of training would be a real stretch...at least for me it would be.
 

Lnsean

10+ Year Member
May 26, 2009
2,333
1,540
Status
Medical Student
Whats up nerds! I'm an MS3 pretty set into going into DR and I can't help but to get brought down from all the doom and gloom I read online.

I absolutely love Rads! I have a blast every time I go down to the reading rooms whenever I have free time during rotations, love the minor procedures, love the work environment and flow, love the art that goes into creating a report, love how attendings are absolute masters of knowledge, love the hours (in spite of call). In all honesty, to me it seems like the best specialty and it surprises me that there aren't more medical students jumping to it. Then, in all my excitement, I'll decide to go into some forums to see more about my exciting career choice! More often than not, I am greeted by posts written by current radiologists that are sometimes depressing, namely on AuntMinnie, and they sometimes make me wonder if I'm missing something.

I just wanted to get peoples' take on the doom and gloom painted by online forums sometimes. Maybe I'm looking for reassurance that I'm making the right move? I don't know.
I think it's great that you love radiology. I feel that you should definitely love what you go into. That being said, you obviously have to be honest about the field: it's a commoditized field where you are reading x number of studies / day. That's how you get paid. So AI will continue to make things more efficient...even if they don't replace radiologists...you will be expected to read more and more and more studies to make the same pay. Some attendings that I have talked to told me that it's not uncommon for you to read 150-200 studies a day at some places. Imagine this number going up even more with AI.

It is also one of the most vulnerable specialties when it comes to the economy. History is the best predictor of future events. You don't need to read people's opinions. Just take a look at the last recession, radiology was hit the most and had the worst in term of job prospects. IM and its subspecialties were most resilient to economic changes. With all that being said, I think if you still love the field despite all that then you should definitely choose it.
 
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OP
C
Oct 6, 2019
6
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Medical Student
I think it's great that you love radiology. I feel that you should definitely love what you go into. That being said, you obviously have to be honest about the field: it's a commoditized field where you are reading x number of studies / day. That's how you get paid. So AI will continue to make things more efficient...even if they don't replace radiologists...you will be expected to read more and more and more studies to make the same pay. Some attendings that I have talked to told me that it's not uncommon for you to read 150-200 studies a day at some places. Imagine this number going up even more with AI.

It is also one of the most vulnerable specialties when it comes to the economy. History is the best predictor of future events. You don't need to read people's opinions. Just take a look at the last recession, radiology was hit the most and had the worst in term of job prospects. IM and its subspecialties were most resilient to economic changes. With all that being said, I think if you still love the field despite all that then you should definitely choose it.
Right on, I appreciate the advice. I agree, it most definitely feels like a commoditized field which doesn’t help when the AI discussion comes in. It’s very daunting to procede in spite of that uncertainty, but on the flip side, I’m not too sure how salty I’d feel if I don’t move forward with DR and 30 years down the line radiology is still as cool and chill as it is today.
 
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Jun 23, 2018
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As a DR rad for about 10 years, I address the "gloom and doom" attitude to radiology (the field I am in ) the same way you address the "gloom and doom" when a senior highschool student ask about medicine field in general (the field you are in) and the risks involved.

Physicians are one of the most risk averse people.
Do what you love.
Predicting things are hard, particularly about the future (I am paraphrasing others).

If I had to go through do medicine again, I would choose radiology in a heartbeat. This is something I know. If I have to choose others vs medicine, I am not so sure now since there is "gloom and doom" everywhere on the internet. How often MDs proclaim how great they love their jobs and that their jobs are the best things happen to them ? You tell me.
 

colonelkurtz

2+ Year Member
Mar 11, 2017
19
11
Status
Medical Student
M4 here going into rads. One of the things that was holding me back from radiology was the "doom and gloom" you find here and on Aunt Minnie. Was actually about to submit applications for ortho (even though I HATED ortho clinic). I empathize with you a lot because I really LOVED radiology and all the attendings I worked with also loved their jobs, yet you feel like you would be making a mistake based on what's said on online forums. Its a sucky feeling.

Its like the attending above me had said, you hear the same doom and gloom about med school and the future of the physician profession in undergrad and high school. If I listened to all that, I would have never went to med school, and I sincerely think med school was the best thing to happen to me.

So likewise, I decided not to listen to all the noise and trust my gut feeling. Will it backfire? Are all the online radiologist right about the future of radiology? Idk, we'll have to find out on our own. All we can do is try to be the best physicians we can possibly be because thats the only thing that we can control.

I really do feel you dude, hope this helps.
 

hartbot

7+ Year Member
Mar 20, 2010
114
10
Status
Medical Student
Can't tell you what to do, but I applied for radiology during the lowest point of the job market going back 8 years from now. I remember reading this forum and aunt minnie about how the job market was going to be permanently depressed and it would never recover, and how you'd have to do 2 fellowships and only get a job in the boondocks, etc.

I believed it all and got myself wrapped up in this cloak of negativity and felt guilty and angry at myself for picking rads because I was certain that forum members knew exactly what they were talking about. 8 years later, job market is roaring and can work almost anywhere you want, and nobody even talks about job options now.

But now there's a new boogie man- AI. Seems like every 10 years in radiology there's a new doom and gloom out there-- MRI was going to have such great contrast that you wouldn't need radiologists, then Hillary care was going to capitate and cut payments and radiologists would starve, then PACS was going to ship all the studies to India, then the job market was going to be permanently horrendous...and now AI. I wonder what the next one will be.

I can't predict the future, but you can see the overarching theme here.
 
OP
C
Oct 6, 2019
6
2
Status
Medical Student
M4 here going into rads. One of the things that was holding me back from radiology was the "doom and gloom" you find here and on Aunt Minnie. Was actually about to submit applications for ortho (even though I HATED ortho clinic). I empathize with you a lot because I really LOVED radiology and all the attendings I worked with also loved their jobs, yet you feel like you would be making a mistake based on what's said on online forums. Its a sucky feeling.

Its like the attending above me had said, you hear the same doom and gloom about med school and the future of the physician profession in undergrad and high school. If I listened to all that, I would have never went to med school, and I sincerely think med school was the best thing to happen to me.

So likewise, I decided not to listen to all the noise and trust my gut feeling. Will it backfire? Are all the online radiologist right about the future of radiology? Idk, we'll have to find out on our own. All we can do is try to be the best physicians we can possibly be because thats the only thing that we can control.

I really do feel you dude, hope this helps.
I’d definitely does. Thanks man, and best of luck to you!
 
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Sep 18, 2019
6
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Old days of radiology: 9-5 slow paced job, well paid, less work, rarely if ever get called overnight. That's what many of the older generation signed up for and they had it for many years.

The reality is that radiology and medicine in general aren't like that anymore. Radiology has become a fast paced job with high volumes and presence of late shifts/busy call. CT and ultrasound are how many acute disease are diagnosed—decisions for OR and ED admission are dependent on radiology. The most legitimate gripes have been that pay has gone down (despite the greater importance of radiology) and speed has become emphasized.

Despite that every radiologist I've ever met would still do radiology if ever allowed to go back. I've met many primary care, IM, psych, and general surgeon docs who felt like there was a better choice out there (radiology being one of the answers). Doom and gloom seems to be prevalent around medicine in general these days.
 

808s&heartbreak

2+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2017
27
20
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Resident [Any Field]
Honestly radiology is not the lifestyle I thought it would be. Radiology get bossed around all the time. Wet reads, PAs yelling at you, and radiologists all around as a specialty do not have enough back bone.

I'm not worried about AI. I want AI here faster than ever. Volume is up, reimbursement is down. We are doing more for less. We are undervalued, and the liability is high. The older generation make up for lower reimbursement rates by increasing volume, and the work is no longer enjoyable.
 

colonelkurtz

2+ Year Member
Mar 11, 2017
19
11
Status
Medical Student
Honestly radiology is not the lifestyle I thought it would be. Radiology get bossed around all the time. Wet reads, PAs yelling at you, and radiologists all around as a specialty do not have enough back bone.

I'm not worried about AI. I want AI here faster than ever. Volume is up, reimbursement is down. We are doing more for less. We are undervalued, and the liability is high. The older generation make up for lower reimbursement rates by increasing volume, and the work is no longer enjoyable.
I agree with the fact that liability being high is the major drawbacks of radiology. I’m not a radiologist, but I can imagine the stress of going through reads knowing that you can be sued for a miss.

As for high volumes, I’m pretty sure that’s the case for all specialties. Even in the specialties which are considered the best among medicine (derm, ophtho, and ortho), they still need to grind through a large volume of patients in clinic.

I think it’s like the poster above me said, radiology was such a high reward for low work job that what is happening now seems like a nightmare in comparison.

Also, the high volume is mostly the case for private practice. I worked with academic and community radiologists and the work pace is very manageable and their work hours are pretty stable.
 
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CavsFan2016

2+ Year Member
Jun 14, 2016
453
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I agree with the fact that liability being high is the major drawbacks of radiology. I’m not a radiologist, but I can imagine the stress of going through reads knowing that you can be sued for a miss.

As for high volumes, I’m pretty sure that’s the case for all specialties. Even in the specialties which are considered the best among medicine (derm, ophtho, and ortho), they still need to grind through a large volume of patients in clinic.

I think it’s like the poster above me said, radiology was such a high reward for low work job that what is happening now seems like a nightmare in comparison.

Also, the high volume is mostly the case for private practice. I worked with academic and community radiologists and the work pace is very manageable and their work hours are pretty stable.
Why are derm, ophtho and ortho considered the "best"? They are all so different
 
Sep 18, 2019
6
10
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Liability is real but overstated. All surgical specialties have greater rates of being successfully sued/settling and have a higher insurance cost as a result. Just like how you will inevitably miss something in radiology, you will inevitably have bad outcomes and complications as a surgeon (neurosurg, ortho, OBGYN, cardiothoracic, plastics, ophthalmology, etc.). If your anxiety is that bad then the only real option is doing primary care and referring everything out.

The volumes in radiology are tremendous but manageable by most; a decent residency will prepare you for it. Unfortunately, similar to how in surgery where a few individuals eventually find out in residency they have "bad hands", you will not know if you'll be a slow reader until you enter training. I wouldn't let this deter you since most people come out capable of handling the volumes or end up subspecializing in an area that is generally slower-paced.
 
OP
C
Oct 6, 2019
6
2
Status
Medical Student
Thanks to everyone that took the time to reply, this has been very educational and for the most part reassuring! I appreciate your insight.