The Radiology MBA

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Curtis KauffmanA thought occurred to me recently, as I worked with a rather large and very successful radiology practice: Radiologists in private practice who have built organizations functioning at high levels have done so, for the most part, without the benefit of a formal education in business. Trial and error, management by instinct, and the force of tenacity have been at the root of many of today’s most successful practices. The profession has bred some amazing entrepreneurs, over the years.

This is admirable—and, at the same time, more than a little disconcerting for those in positions of executive leadership. It’s admirable because many have learned to be top-notch business people in the process, and it’s disconcerting because many of them now find that their institutional knowledge is not so easily transferred to the next generation of leaders within the practice. How is succession going to work?

I believe that this fact is one of the reasons that Radiology Business Journal has been so successful. In essence, we have tailored the content of the publication to provide a place where imaging executives (both those who have arrived and those just now emerging) can find a full range of topics that are fundamental to the business of radiology.

In short, we are providing the profession with the radiology MBA, and when one looks over the archive of thought-provoking articles that touch on economics, management, leadership, and finance, one can clearly see why this publication has been dubbed the thinking person’s radiology publication.

Serious Business

It is a serious business, and we take our responsibility to help educate our profession’s leaders very seriously. There is no question in my mind about how this commitment to generating timely, deep, and relevant information has set us apart from the majority of other publications (which typically are not written and edited by those who actually work in the business of radiology). We do, so it is important for us to publish articles that actually make a difference in the management of the practice’s business.

This also is true in the hospital setting. Several years ago, it became clear to us that an important dialogue needed to be initiated between those in the radiology practice and those in executive positions at the hospital. In order to build lasting and mutually beneficial relationships, each of these groups should obtain imaging information that is relevant to it—and that could (and would) make a difference in the overall management of the medical imaging enterprise, to the benefit of each of the stakeholders. Among these are patients, payors, referring physicians, and the employees of the imaging organization.

Our thought, then, was the genesis of RBJ, a unique publication that convenes multiple reader groups around a common interest—and RBJ has developed to assume a leadership position at the true cutting edge of today’s issues and trends in the profession.

As we enter a new and even more challenging phase in medical imaging, we intend to lead the debates and discussions about these topics and will continue to be in the forefront of meeting the emerging need for top-level information. The next generation of leaders will need as much education as possible in order to navigate the very choppy waters that lie ahead. We look forward to helping lead the way.

Curtis Kauffman-Pickelle is publisher of ImagingBiz.com and Radiology Business Journal, and is a 30-year veteran of the medical-imaging industry.