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Lessons Learned

How are 2014 Radiology Leadership Institute® scholarship recipients applying the skills they acquired and making a difference in their practices?


April 2015

Since its inception two and a half years ago, and with more than 2,100 enrollees, the Radiology Leadership Institute ® (RLI) has prepared hundreds of radiologists to meaningfully shape the future of health care.

As part of this effort, the institute and several ACR state chapters have awarded scholarships each year to promising leaders in the field of radiology, inviting them to attend the annual RLI Summit or to enhance their business management skills by participating in the Harvard Emerging Leaders Seminar. The Bulletin caught up with three 2014 scholarship awardees to see how they have integrated lessons learned during their experience at the RLI into their own institutions.

annmleylekAnn M. Leylek, MD
Massachusetts Radiological Society Leadership Scholarship Awardee

During her time at the 2014 RLI Summit at Babson College, one moment stood out for Ann M. Leylek, MD, diagnostic radiology resident at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and Harvard Medical School. She and her fellow attendees were tasked with exploring ways to overcome future challenges to the profession: "Some of our ideas included utilizing social media for community education, and using iPads for ICU rounds and specialized patient encounters," Leylek recounts. Seasoned radiologists added their perspectives to the thought experiment, helping to generate a healthy discussion of future health care trends. The exercise showcased the enthusiasm and adaptability of young radiologists. "The summit was a positive sign for our profession that trainees are welcomed and wholly included in organizations like the RLI and the ACR," says Leylek.
After attending the RLI Summit, Leylek returned to her institution determined to make a difference. Her experience in the RLI program, she explains, led her to identify "a need for more formalized curricula to develop and encourage aspiring leaders in training" at BIDMC. This resulted in the establishment of an alumni-supported academy to help radiology trainees build a multi-faceted professional skillset, foster career development, and encourage involvement in leadership enterprises. Called the Radiology Leadership Academy, the program will begin in July 2015 and will be open to BIDMC trainees during their four years of residency or one year of fellowship.
"The academy will cover a broad variety of topics, including finance, professionalism, quality improvement, networking, interpersonal communications, and marketing/branding," says Leylek. The overall goal is to provide trainees with a basic foundation in the business of radiology. "The fact that the leadership academy is derived from the RLI, which has cemented a place for itself in the profession, just further convinced BIDMC's leadership that there is a place for a leadership program for radiologists in training," she says.

adamhkayeAdam H. Kaye, MD, MBA
Pennsylvania Radiological Society Leadership Scholarship Awardee

"I attended business school prior to my radiology training, but I had very little context for applying the material I studied to my everyday life and future leadership responsibilities," says Adam H. Kaye, MD, MBA, fellow in oncologic imaging and nuclear medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, who attended the 2014 Harvard Emerging Leaders Seminar (HELS). Attending the seminar allowed him to see the business of radiology with a fresh pair of eyes. "I was able to study things like competitive strategy and organizational behavior with a whole new perspective," explains Kaye. "The course encouraged me to think about how these topics apply specifically to radiology and my leadership perspective."
Kaye adds that the interactive assignments allowed him and his fellow attendees to practice their newfound leadership skills. "In particular," says Kaye, "I very much enjoyed our assignment to apply Porter's Five Forces, which we'd studied earlier in the course, directly to a radiology practice. The assignment prompted a wonderful discussion about the unique forces relevant to our field." The mixture of speakers, which included both prominent radiologists and Harvard Business School professors, enriched the experience.

"Any time you pursue the same-old, same-old — whether in business or medicine — you're going to be left behind."

— Ian Amber, MD

Kaye goes on to note that his HELS training has prepared him for his newest role: chief fellow of his nuclear radiology fellowship. "I have numerous responsibilities in my capacity as chief fellow," explains Kaye, "including leading and managing a group of four fellows. Many of the skills I learned during the HELS have been very useful in navigating potentially difficult interactions between my co-fellows, as well as promoting an atmosphere of shared learning and responsibility in patient care."

ianamberIan Amber, MD
RLI Scholarship Awardee

Ian Amber, MD, radiology resident at Pennsylvania Hospital in the University of Pennsylvania Health System, took several lessons to heart during his time at the 2014 RLI Summit held at Babson College. "Our instructors challenged us to not only show that radiology matters in general, but that our particular groups matter to the hospitals with which we're associated," Amber reflects. In addition, lecturers emphasized the need to think outside of the box. "Any time you pursue the same-old, same-old — whether in business or medicine — you're going to be left behind," Amber states.
Among other skills, Amber left the RLI with a better understanding of how to set appropriate performance metrics for his department. When tracking performance numbers, he elaborates, "it's helpful to establish what the building blocks are for patient satisfaction, for instance. These can include length of wait times, whether or not a doctor met directly with a patient, and so on. With the changing face of health care," continues Amber, "there is nothing better than being able to show hospital administrators quantifiable metrics that prove a practice's or department's value to an institution."
After synthesizing the information gathered from the conference, Amber sat down with his department chair to evaluate how best to improve his department's performance metrics. They decided to start with improving patients' experiences during the CT scanning process. Based on the knowledge gained from the summit, Amber designed a survey to assess both patient baseline satisfaction and patient understanding of the exam. Once Amber and his colleagues finish collecting data, they will draw conclusions and make appropriate, evidence-based adjustments to their processes.
Whether a radiologist wants to establish a more formalized curricula to develop and encourage future leaders, learn how to set appropriate performance metrics for a practice or department, or get a better grasp on how to become a leader, the RLI offers something for everyone. In these challenging times, radiologists must diversify their skillsets to add value to the care team, and the RLI is the place to gain such skills.

By Chris Hobson, Imaging 3.0 content manager

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