5 habits of effective radiologists

A new analysis published in Current Problems in Diagnostic Radiology took an in-depth look at the habits of effective radiologists, building on the work of professor and author Stephen R. Covey.

“Effectiveness is the degree to which something, or someone, is capable of producing a desired result,” wrote Timothy Alves, MD, department of radiology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues. “In radiology, our desired result is of our choosing and includes goals such as providing excellent clinical care, having a successful practice, teaching effectively, advancing scientific knowledge, and finding meaning in one’s work.”

The authors wrote about nine habits overall in their analysis. These are five of those habits:

1. Be Proactive

By anticipating problems ahead of time and working to solve them, Alves et al. explained, radiologists can avoid potential issues and provide better, smarter patient care.

“In radiology we rely on many systems to keep our patients safe,” the authors wrote. “A proactive review of such systems, such as radiation dose monitoring during computed tomography procedures, benefits not only patients but our respective institutions and our field as a whole.”

Imaging leaders can also gain a lot from being more proactive on a day-to-day basis. If a leader considers “possible opposition” to big decisions ahead of time, for example, they can work on addressing that opposition from the start and working out a solution.

2. Begin with the End in Mind

Setting short-, medium- and long-term goals is crucial for anyone, especially radiologists. Do you want to learn more about a specific policy or modality? Offer a new service at your practice? Shorten turnaround times? Whatever the goal may be, writing it down and monitoring your progress is a helpful way to move forward instead of settling into an unproductive groove.

3. Think Win-Win

By showing empathy and putting yourself in other people’s shoes, the authors wrote, you can get groups to work together and get things done. If people on both sides of an issue feel that they “win,” it reduces negativity and helps everyone stay focused and motivated. Of course, the ultimate “winners” in healthcare should always be patients.

“The goal in working with others should be to find mutually beneficial solutions that ultimately advance patient care,” the authors wrote. “Adopting a win-win mindset will lead to better outcomes for all parties involved, and also make the process of finding solutions easier for all involved.”

4. Find Your Voice and Inspire Others to Find Theirs

“The most important point about finding one’s voice is not so much that the voice has to be unique or powerful, but that it is truly and authentically one’s own,” the authors wrote. Effective radiologists find their own voice and then pay it forward by helping others find their own voices.

5. Cultivate Gratitude and Mindfulness

Alves and colleagues ended their list with this habit “as a method to stay grounded and positive during our never-ending quests for professional and personal success.” Radiologists can make a significant impact by just considering what they are grateful for on a regular basis and remaining aware of their own thoughts and feelings. Gratitude and mindfulness also work as a one-two punch for radiologists looking to battle burnout.