Four Bottom-Line Benefits of Addressing Diversity in Radiology

Updated: Feb 5

It would seem that diversity in radiology still poses a challenge even in 2020: a Dec. 13 article published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology reports that only about 27 percent of radiology residents are women.


And, according to a different study in Radiographics, an average of 47.5 percent of graduating medical students each year are women, but the number of women applying to diagnostic radiology residency programs from 2013 to 2017 averaged 29 percent.

Figure. The trend of diminishing numbers of women in radiology with advancing academic status. Left to right: Pictographs show the percentages of women medical students (5), women radiology residency applicants (6), women radiology residents (7), women practicing radiologists (1), and women radiology leaders (1). Source: https://pubs.rsna.org/doi/full/10.1148/rg.2018180023

Luckily, there are proven ways to attract all kinds of people to your department.

For example, a Women in Radiology (WIR) program implemented recently by Brigham and Women’s Hospital showed that in combination with a strong leadership team, such a program can sustain and bolster the recruitment of residency classes.

In this case, the program resulted in an average proportion of greater than 40 percent women over a period of four years — more on that later.


What does “diversity” mean for your radiology business?


The concept of diversity isn’t just a “feel-good” goal–there are numerous potential benefits:

  1. Higher revenue: McKinsey & Company found that organizations in the top 25 percent for gender diversity are also more likely to have above-average financial performance.

  2. Greater adaptability: Different backgrounds and experiences may make diverse radiology teams more innovative and flexible with change.

  3. Better employee attraction and retention: Diverse organizations could see lower employee turnover and higher employee engagement, and may be more attractive to job seekers.

  4. Improved patient outcomes: Patients with a stronger sense of belonging are more likely to be engaged in their care and follow up.

Radiology practices and health care systems have several options for growing their diversity. Practices can focus on creating a team that represents their surrounding community. This may mean making a deliberate commitment within the organization, as well as addressing unconscious bias.

As mentioned, Boston-based Brigham and Women’s increased their inclusion of female radiology residents by implementing a Women in Radiology program. In this program, the Harvard teaching hospital connects with residents to help get them interested and engaged in radiology.


For more details on the Brigham and Women’s program, and advice on implementing something similar at your own facility, we recommend you read the linked article in the Radiology Business Journal, How one hospital bucked the trend to bolster its ranks of female radiologists

The right workflow can help your diverse radiology team stay engaged and communicate more efficiently. Novarad’s suite of innovative solutions makes medical imaging a better experience for radiology practices and their patients!

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