RSNA2023 Leading Through Change
Daily Bulletin

Revitalizing the Radiology Workforce Will Require Innovation and Listening

Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023

By Mary Henderson

One of radiology’s most accomplished and decorated leaders drew from her three decades of experience to deliver a plenary lecture Wednesday afternoon on the challenges facing the radiology workforce in the current environment, from staffing shortages to limited resources.

Jocelyn D. Chertoff, MD, MS, discussed the need for health care organizations to embrace diversity and innovation and diversity, while building trust within the workforce.



“As of today, hospitals and health systems worldwide face a shortage of at least 10 million workers in 2030,” said Dr. Chertoff, chair and professor of radiology at Dartmouth Giesel School of Medicine, in Hanover, NH. “This includes primary care doctors and specialists, including pathologists, neurologists, radiologists, and psychiatrists.”

AI, Streamlining Workflows and Boosting Morale Will Make A Difference

Dr. Chertoff said interest in radiologist recruitment strategies has significantly increased over the past five years, while radiology job postings on the American College of Radiology website has doubled in the past two years. According to AMN Healthcare, U.S. physician supply and demand trends are driven by seven P’s, including the pervasive ill health of the population and burned out, aging providers on the brink of retirement.

“Twenty-nine percent of radiologists today are 65 or older,” Dr. Chertoff said. “Sixty percent of U.S. adults have a chronic medical condition.”

Physician burnout was a simmering issue long before 2020, driven by the commoditization of radiology, salaries that trailed inflation, the new RVU production model and understaffing. Postpandemic, huge financial and moral pressures have made physicians even more vulnerable to overworking, creating high levels of anxiety, depression and sleep problems.

Staff shortages compounded by enormous pressure for productivity and shrinking reimbursements mean radiologists are in desperate need of recruitment and retention strategies.

“Rather than poaching staff from each other, work on morale by delegating authority, increasing autonomy, rewarding good work, and most importantly, by encouraging innovation,” she said.

To revitalize the practice of radiology, she said, radiologists should take advantage of remote capabilities and deploy data systems and AI to automate processes, streamline workflows and improve staff satisfaction.

“We need to look at new ideas, such as opportunistic imaging—or taking full advantage of the imaging we do—hybrid practices and building and listening to diverse teams who are practicing at the top of their licenses,” she said.

Dr. Chertoff said it’s also imperative for health care organizations to continually work to create a supportive workplace that reduces the micro-stressors that drain capacity and deplete emotional resources.

“As leaders we have to re-build the trust in the people who work with us, and restore their jobs to something that’s meaningful,” Dr. Chertoff concluded. “We have to listen to them, recognize their autonomy, elevate their voices and build a civil culture. There’s a real business case for this.”

Access the plenary, “Understanding and Revitalizing the Radiology Workforce, (W6-PL06A) on demand at