Baseline Survey of the Neuroradiology Work Environment in the United States with Reported Trends in Clinical Work, Nonclinical Work, Perceptions of Trainees, and Burnout Metrics

Fellows’ Journal Club

A voluntary survey was sent to practicing and out-of-training members of the ASNR. Four hundred thirty-two respondents across a broad range of experience reported: 93% with workdays extending at least 1 hour past expected; 71.9% reading more cases per hour compared with previous years; 79.5% sometimes-to-always interpreting cases faster than comfortable for optimal interpretation; and 67.8% sometimes or more often with inadequate time to discuss abnormal results. Burnout symptoms ranged between 49% and 75%. The trends and the correlations should be concerning to the leaders of radiology and warrant further monitoring.

Abstract

Figure 5 from paper
The percentage of respondents reporting cutting back time spent performing various nonclinical duties who consider those duties part of their job description. This specifically excludes respondents who answered, “Not Applicable” to those duties.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

Neuroradiologists have faced continuously increasing clinical workloads. Our aim was to establish and report a baseline survey of the current neuroradiology work environment in the United States and of experiential changes in recent years.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

A voluntary survey was sent to practicing and out-of-training members of the American Society of Neuroradiology in the United States. Selected measures included workday volume and length, burnout symptoms, participation in academic and practice-building duties; effects on perceived interpretation quality, communication of abnormal results, and consideration of early retirement or career changes, among others.

RESULTS

Four hundred thirty-two respondents across a broad range of experience reported the following: 52.8% (224/424) with teaching responsibilities; 93% (399/430) with workdays extending at least 1 hour past expected, in 45% (193/430) frequently or always; 71.9% (309/430) reading more cases per hour compared to previous years; 79.5% (341/429) sometimes-to-always interpreting cases faster than comfortable for optimal interpretation; and 67.8% (292/431) sometimes or more often with inadequate time to discuss abnormal results. Burnout symptoms ranged between 49% and 75% (211/428 to 322/428) across 4 indices. For academic activities of teaching, mentoring, and research/publications, a mean of 94.3% reported cut-backs during the past few years. For practice-building activities, 92% reported cut-backs, 51.6% (222/429) considered early retirement, and 38.8% (167/429) considered changing careers.

CONCLUSIONS

Increasing clinical demands have coincided with destructive effects in the work environment and the ability and desire of neuroradiologists in the United States to perform academic or practice-building duties with a substantial incidence of burnout symptoms. While this survey does not prove causation, the trends and the correlations should be concerning to the leaders of radiology and warrant further monitoring.

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Baseline Survey of the Neuroradiology Work Environment in the United States with Reported Trends in Clinical Work, Nonclinical Work, Perceptions of Trainees, and Burnout Metrics
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jross
Jeffrey Ross • Mayo Clinic, Phoenix

Dr. Jeffrey S. Ross is a Professor of Radiology at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and practices neuroradiology at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, Arizona. His publications include over 100 peer-reviewed articles, nearly 60 non-refereed articles, 33 book chapters, and 10 books. He was an AJNR Senior Editor from 2006-2015, is a member of the editorial board for 3 other journals, and a manuscript reviewer for 10 journals. He became Editor-in-Chief of the AJNR in July 2015. He received the Gold Medal Award from the ASSR in 2013.