The opportunity to recruit the future of radiology is an honor for every program director, and it’s an activity that we all
should take seriously. When I first became program director, I
recruited residents based on United States Medical Licensing
Examination (USMLE) scores and medical school grades,
work ethic, and the demonstrated potential of giving back to
our program. Creating a more diverse program never entered
my mind as a goal I should strive to accomplish. My goal was to
recruit the “best and the brightest,” without specific regard to
gender or ethnicity. I focused on matching a class with as many
American Osteopathic Association members as possible,
thinking that this would constitute the best group of residents.
In my first year as program director, I matched 12 bright, high-ly-capable men. To be frank, I was shocked that I did not match
a single woman or underrepresented minority resident.
I freely admit that I was woefully naïve and short-sighted.
Studies have shown that recruiting trainees as described above
does not result in forming the “best class.” It has been proven
that diversity enhances communication, patient satisfaction,
and compliance. It’s been confirmed that diverse groups are
less inclined to succumb to “group think” and are more innovative and creative, benefiting all members of the organization. In
addition, research shows that minority physicians are more
likely to practice in underserved areas and to work with ethnic
minority patients, many of whom have limited access to care.
The intelligent, accomplished black woman from a southern medical school was genuinely curious when she posed this question to me last year when I interviewed her for
our diagnostic radiology residency program. She was touched
that we had implemented “diversity recruitment days” for our
residency program. But her query also suggested that she had
doubts and still questioned our intent and goals.
I don’t blame her. Radiology, as a specialty, has a bad record
for recruiting women and minorities underrepresented in medicine. Of the 20 largest medical specialties, radiology ranks 17th
in the number of women going into our field and last in the number of underrepresented minorities! These facts alone should
make the leaders in our field stand up and take notice.
As shown in a study of 22,000 global businesses performed by McKinsey Global Institute, increasing the number of women on corporate boards and in upper management results in increased net
revenue margins. Other studies have shown that a diverse workforce helps foster environments with
more creativity, productivity, and innovation. With this information in mind, ARRS President Mauricio
Castillo asked four leading female radiologists to write about gender issues associated with recruitment, academia, private practices, and social media. The following articles are designed to provide
information and promote conversations among management and staff about ways to create healthy
work environments for women and men who work in radiology.
Women in Radiology: Bre
Diversity Equals Excellence: Analyze
Your Recruitment Process; It May Be
Angelisa M. Paladin
University of Washington, Seattle
“Why do you care about recruiting underrepresented candidates?”
The opportunity to recruit the future of radiology is an honor for every program director, and it’s an
activity that we all should take seriously.