April 13, 2021

RLI Career Kickstarter

By Michelle Roytman, MD, Neuroradiology Fellow at Weill Cornell Medicine/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

The American College of Radiology® (ACR®) Radiology Leadership Institute® (RLI) Kickstart Your Career workshop on April 28 is a comprehensive yet efficient program that successfully balances didactics with interactive sessions to keep participants engaged. Led by experts in the field who are both experienced and approachable, the workshop encompasses critical topics not traditionally taught in residency, including effective communication, secrets for interview success, evaluating a job offer, assessing contract clauses, tips for personal financial success, mentoring and professionalism.

While I have attended similar talks in the past, I decided to participate in this specific workshop during the month of October during my fellowship year, as it coincided with a pivotal point in my journey from trainee to attending — a point where I needed to make real-life career decisions. Personally, I felt I could be happy in a variety of ways and struggled with the “right” choice — academics versus private practice; strict subspecialty neuroradiology versus needing it all.

While many assured me that this was a “good” problem to have, it was a problem nonetheless. Attending this workshop, particularly at a time when these topics were most relevant to me, was influential in my ultimate decision for my first job. Hearing the unique perspectives of these leaders was enlightening and enriching, and having the opportunity to participate in interactive sessions with experts in the field provided me with personal insight I did not anticipate experiencing.

In addition to the half-day workshop already mentioned, the RLI also offers a follow-up mentorship program to continue these discussions longitudinally with a personally selected mentor — my favorite aspect of this experience. My mentor and I have been in touch regularly (via emails and Zoom), whereby she provides me with realistic expectations and honest answers in a way that has been therapeutic and motivational. At a time of quarantine and societal separation, I am immensely grateful to have had this opportunity to connect on such a deep and fulfilling level with discussions of ambitions and a brighter future.

I encourage radiologists at all stages of their career, budding and established, to engage in discussions regarding these nonclinical skills and incorporate them into their practice. Even with the best mentors, we must be our own advocates, and it is never too early, or too late, to learn the skills to successfully do so. While there are many excellent approaches, I encourage you to consider the RLI Kickstart Your Career workshop firsthand. I certainly am grateful to have done so.