In 2022, the state of staffing and salary in radiology is challenging to say the least. With widespread staffing shortages and the steadily increasing salaries of radiologists, hiring in the field is becoming more and more difficult. Today, we’ll look at some of the statistics and research surrounding this situation and break down what we can gather from them.
Looking at the data: staffing
In a May article from Radiology Business, the results of their latest survey painted a grim picture. The survey compiled a diverse pool of information from various specialties and occupations within radiology.
They found that, “Across all titles surveyed—including administrators, radiologists, technologists, and IT and PACS managers—overall staffing levels were cited as the biggest challenge in the specialty by 55% of respondents.”
This points to a much larger problem: staffing shortages across the board. Furthermore, an article for AppliedRadiology® cites that, “Radiology, experiencing shortages across various positions and modalities, is struggling to both maintain staffing levels and bring in new talent [emphasis added].”
And the struggle to maintain adequate staffing levels is having ripple effects on the rest of the practices: “…workplaces are forcing radiology staffers to assume additional duties too, with increased workloads due to organizational changes ranking as the No. 2 concern.”
Clearly, the staffing situation is complicating matters for the institutions as a whole, as other employees are having to pick up the slack. This isn’t sustainable and presents its own host of issues.
General trends and observations: radiologists
There are also some overall trends and general observations that those in the industry have seen.
For example, Mark Kalmar of Corvallis Radiology PC comments: “The landscape has changed dramatically in the last couple years … In our experience, there is a national shortage of radiologists.”
Another expert, Nancy Godby, adds: “We used to have people waiting in line for jobs here. That’s just not the case now.” Godby even points to the fact that she’s had to rely more on agency technologists and mandatory overtime in order to provide adequate imaging services in her practice.
This shortage is definitely a problem, having impacted the industry as a whole, even globally. In the UK, the BMJ cited in a June 2022 article that, “current workforce problems were ‘unsustainable’ and that every month delayed cancer treatment raised the risk of death by around 10%,” when referring to the lack of key radiology and oncology staff.
So, not only is this situation having a negative effect on the daily operations of radiology practices, but it’s having a tangible effect on patient outcomes, even risking patients’ lives. That 10% increased risk, month-over-month, can seriously add up!
Compensation stats and observations
Now that we’ve established the state of staffing in radiology, let’s move on to the state of salary. Generally speaking, salaries are rising for radiologists.
Radiology Business cites: “Radiologists on average were paid $426,210 in 2021, a 5% increase over the average recorded in [their] 2019 survey. Factoring in other pay sweeteners, members of the specialty tallied total compensation of $514,365, with a mean performance bonus of $124,522.”
Furthermore, the same survey found that radiologists in private practices were earning an average of $576,278; those in hospitals/health systems earned an average of $434,650; and those in freestanding imaging centers earned an average of $190,352. Another “35% of radiologists surveyed say they saw overall compensation increase during the past two years.”
So, with salaries generally rising and staff in short supply, the task of hiring radiologists is becoming a tougher one every day.
Ivan DeQuesada of Radiology Associates of North Text (RANT) summarizes: “There are just fewer people to interview and almost every one of them has to be considered a serious contender … Things have changed dramatically in the short time that I’ve been running recruitment.”
What kind of strategies are hiring managers putting in place to deal with these issues? Well, vRad (a big player in teleradiology), has upped the ante by increasing their salaries for physicians upwards of 25% in an effort to increase hiring and promote employee retention.
Trends for imaging administrators
But even though radiologists have seen gains in terms of their salaries, imaging administrators have seen theirs stay largely the same: earning “an average salary of $129,043 in 2021, about the same as the $130,643 figure survey takers told [them] three years ago.”
And what do those in the position of imaging administrators struggle with most in their jobs? “Staffing levels, as one might expect … according to 75% of respondents.” These two areas – staffing and salary – continue to overlap.
As you can see, the state of staffing and salary in radiology in 2022 is a tricky one. It’s more expensive and more dismal than ever to hire radiologists. On the flipside, if you’re seeking new work as a one, the ball really is in your court.
If you’re in the medical imaging space and dealing with staffing shortages, why not try “hiring” OmegaAI? RamSoft’s latest answer to the state of radiology in 2022, OmegaAI – the world’s first Imaging EMR – is equipped to help solve your practice’s workflow issues. Enquire today!