Trainee Workloads Increasing
A study in the JACR® found that radiology resident and fellow workloads have been on a steady rise. The authors of the study analyzed Medicare Part B/Physician Summary Master Files (which aggregate billing claims submitted by physicians) from 1998 to 2010. During that period, trainee workload rose by 26 percent, with the sharpest increases in higher-complexity reads like CT and MRI. While increased workload carries some negative consequences, the authors of the study also believe reading higher numbers of cases can mean increased educational opportunities for trainees. “In combination with electronic medical records and speech recognition software, contemporary radiology trainees are almost certainly reviewing current and comparison images, obtaining pertinent clinical data, and generating radiology reports more efficiently than was historically possible. Time previously spent ‘digging through the jacket’ to find old films can now be spent actually reviewing additional studies. Given such technological enablers, we believe that increased volumes may actually be more of an educational benefit than a hindrance,” wrote the authors.