Leading Authorities

The annual Radiology Leadership Institute® event prepares radiologists to lead the specialty into the future.

Leading Authorities, Radiology Leadership Institute

Nestled in the forests of rural Massachusetts, outside of Boston, Babson College is the epitome of what you’d expect of a northeastern university: a campus lined with tall trees, large colonial red-brick buildings, and grass-flanked stone walls.

Within these rural surroundings, the Radiology Leadership Institute® (RLI) held its third annual leadership summit, in which experts in practice management, leadership, and business helped radiologists in every stage of their careers prepare for, and even shape, the specialty’s future.

Leadership Luminaries

In addition to the educational programming that ranged from managing big data and analytics to prioritizing social media and medical and business innovation, the RLI recognized three distinguished radiology leaders with its Leadership Luminary award: Sarah S. Donaldson, MD, FACR, David C. Levin, MD, FACR, and Richard L. Morin, PhD, FACR. Each of them provided insight as to what makes a great leader.

“Leadership is a way of thinking, it’s a way of acting, [and] it’s a way of communicating. To do so requires imagination and courage,” explained Donaldson, who is the Catharine and Howard Avery Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine and has also assumed many other positions of leadership within radiology, including former RSNA president. She expressed gratitude for the recognition and exhorted the RLI attendees to cultivate leadership skills.

“It’s hard to define what leadership is, but the fact of the matter is, when you meet somebody who is a good leader, then you recognize that quality in them,” explained Levin, who is professor and chair emeritus of the department of radiology at Jefferson Medical College and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Morin is a medical physicist who is the Brooks-Hollern Professor and a consultant in the department of radiology at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. “To become a leader is a most interesting process. The fact that you are here and willing to leave your practice or department is a testament to the RLI. At last, the vision of Dr. Harvey Neiman to train the future radiology leaders is now coming to fruition. I congratulate you on your vision and your willingness to see it fulfilled,” he said.

A Disruptive Future

Another highlight of the annual meeting was the keynote speech by Clayton M. Christensen, MPhil, MBA, DBA, the Kim B. Clark Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. During his address, Christensen explained some of the theories he developed and published through a series of bestselling books, including The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Innovator’s Solution.

“Thank you for sacrificing so much in an environment that seems arrayed against you in so many ways,” Christensen said, recognizing the difficulties surrounding today’s health care system.

Christensen explained his theory regarding disruption, which states that scientific progress that commoditizes expertise and technology by making it more affordable and widely available simultaneously contributes to the demise of that expertise and technology. For example, as radiology technologies continue to evolve, it is possible that eventually imaging will become more and more affordable and foolproof so that non-radiologists, such as primary care physicians and nurse practitioners, can interpret scans while maintaining the same standard as radiologists, he noted.

Surviving the current and future disruptions within the specialty will not be easy, Christensen noted. “Radiologists will need to become valuable to the care team,” he said. “I think history … will show that if you can get out of a system in which everyone is quarreling about their territory, I think radiologists will find themselves in the center of everyone who is providing care to each patient.” In addition to the awards and keynote speech during the event, attendees participated in training on a variety of business- and practice-related topics from a team composed of Babson and RLI faculty. Topics included the changing landscape and possible futures of radiology and health care, the impact of big data and analytics, social media, innovation, and business models and financial logic. For more information about the RLI summit annual event and to register for the 2015 summit, which will also be held at Babson College, visit http://bit.ly/RLI15.

The RLI offers a variety of courses, webinars, and events for radiologists in all stages of their careers. Check out the following upcoming RLI events:

Harvard Emerging Leaders Seminar
February 3– April 28, 2015
Online Course

2015 RLI Expedition
February 13–15, 2015
Dallas, TX

2015 RLI Leadership Summit
August 6–9, 2015
Babson College
Wellesley, MA

For more information about these and other courses, webinars, and educational opportunities, visit www.radiologyleaders.org.


By Brett Hansen, senior managing editor for the ACR Bulletin

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