The lack of diversity in radiology and what can be done to fix it

The lack of diversity in radiology and what can be done to fix it

John R. Fischer, Senior Reporter | December 10, 2019
Business Affairs

The same predicament, she says, is affecting women, despite their making up half of medical school graduates. “We’re losing women, even after they go into radiology. This extends far beyond program directors. This is something that every leader in a department has to take seriously because we’re losing these valuable employees. I think this is where the inclusivity comes into play.”

Other tactics that can help include bias training for department staff, having diverse selections of interviewers for radiology applicants, pipeline programs, and diverse mentorships as well as sponsorships.

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Such measures can also help propel diversity in leadership, which is lacking at senior levels and in basic science departments, according to Dr. Paul J. Rochon, director of the IR fellowship and residency programs at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He believes that radiologists must be more open about how their profession works, especially when it comes to patient interaction.

“We need to dispel the stereotype that radiologists are isolated from patient interaction. We know that is not true but our medical students and other specialties, that is what they believe," said Rochon.

Radiology departments and leadership should also keep in mind the diverse views of younger generations versus older ones. For instance, millennials are more socially and digitally connected. They desire to stay engaged and active in their work, and are more likely to switch careers or positions within the first two years of their first job.

“They are more engaged when they are in an organization that they feel fosters an inclusive culture,” said Dr. Carolyn Meltzer, the William P. Timmie professor and chair of radiology and imaging sciences, and executive associate dean of faculty academic advancement, leadership and inclusion at Emory University School. “This puts more of a focus for us as leaders in radiology to be sure we address our culture.”

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