RFS news highlights resources, issues, and news relevant to in-training members of the ACR. If you have a topic idea or would like to contribute to the blog, please email RFS Secretary Patricia Balthazar, MD.




A Resident’s Two Cents: Preparation is Key

Ability means little without opportunity, and opportunity is for the prepared.


In July of 2017, I started my diagnostic radiology residency at the University of Oklahoma. With dreams in my head, hard work at hand and ambition in my spirit, all I needed to succeed was a roadmap. They say when you have a goal in mind, all you need is a path. Amid the constant stream of emails we’ve all become accustomed to, one day I came across an invitation to register for an upcoming career course with the Radiology Leadership Institute® (RLI), entitled Kickstart Your Career. Like many naïve minds at my stage, I pondered whether it would be worth it to go given I’d have to shoulder the expense. I turned to the best guide, my chief resident, for advice. Thankfully I got the green signal and off I flew to attend this daylong course in Silver Spring, Md.

Little did I know that this one day would shift paradigms for me. From the opening remarks of Frank J. Lexa, MD, MBA, FACR, to the ever-enthusiastic talk of Raymond K. Tu, MD, FACR, on academia versus private practice, to the eye-opening words of Ellen M. Chung, MD, on communication skills, it was the perfect amalgamation of both the clinical and business aspects of our profession.

RLI is the name of a body of radiologists whose sole purpose is to groom the future world leaders of radiology. Amongst the panel were highly esteemed speakers from across North America who had once been in our shoes and therefore understand how tough some of our choices can be and the importance of timely guidance. Taking us step by step, from highlighting the difference between a good and a bad interview, to how delivering your best at your very first job can lead to a successful career, it was all that a budding radiologist could, should and would want to hear. It was a selfless and magnanimous effort to lay the foundation for the future leaders of radiology, and indeed the roadmap I had been looking for.

Ultimately I learned that it’s important to look outside the box. Life in the reading room is defined by your attitude toward your work; in other words: your work ethic. In order to be great at what you do you must first define greatness. Your responsibility is not only toward the patient whose scan you’re reading but also toward your colleagues and the department/practice. They too deserve the best in you. Kickstart Your Career broadened my horizon, to say the least, and I recommend RLI to anyone who may be interested!

If you’re interested in attending the next Kickstart Your Career workshop on October 26, visit acr.org/kickstart for program and registration details. Register by Friday, September 13 to receive the discounted registration rate!

Asra Nayab, MD, is a resident at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

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