Interventional Radiology Job Market 101: How to Evaluate Your First Job Offer as a New Attending
The end of fellowship is drawing near. Have you decided on a job? Private practice? Academics? Privademics? Although your residency and fellowship may have prepared you well in diagnostic interpretation, procedural acumen and providing patient care, you may not be prepared to tackle the job market and evaluate the merits of a job offer. Let me share what I’ve learned from my own experience navigating the job market, as well as advice gained from peers and mentors, so that you can make the choice that is the best fit for you.
Interventional radiology (IR) is evolving, and its practice is rapidly changing. You can choose private practice, academics, hybrid models (privademics), an office-based lab (OBL) or ambulatory surgery center (ASC) setting. Historically, private practices are associated with more “bread and butter” caseload, higher salaries, greater autonomy, higher productivity requirements, and combined interventional and diagnostic responsibilities.
Academic jobs are usually 100% IR with more complex, challenging patients and diverse caseloads, teaching responsibilities as well as protected time for research, but with lower salaries and less autonomy. Hybrid models offer varying attributes of both. OBL and ASC settings offer the higher salary and greater autonomy seen in private practice along with the ability to do 100% IR, but typically offer a narrower scope of practice and busier days compared to academics.
Suggestion #1: Take the time to find what makes you happy and define your expectations. Ask yourself the following questions: Do you want to do 100% IR or do you prefer a mixed diagnostic-IR workload? What kind of cases do you enjoy? What kind of work pace do you need? What are your salary and location expectations?
Suggestion #2: Read your contract. If any of the verbiage is ambiguous, ask for clarification and consider having a lawyer review it.
For private practice and OBL/ASC jobs, make sure you ask:
- What is the practice culture, and has there been any recent turnover?
- How long has the group been around, and is it physician-owned or corporate-owned?
- What hospital contract(s), equity and assets are owned by the group?
- Are there any foreseeable plans for group sell-out, and what protections do I have in that scenario?
- What are my workload expectations (in terms of both procedures and RVUs)?
- What is the track to partnership, and how much is partnership buy-in?
Academic jobs tend to be more uniform with less room for negotiation. That being said, you should still specifically ask the following:
- What is my starting academic rank?
- What are the research expectations, academic time and service line needs?
- What is my role in the group and/or clinic?
- What are my rounding responsibilities?
- What factors are involved to determine my future promotions?
Suggestion #3: Know your worth. Research the many national physician compensation surveys and reports. Consider paying for access to these reports to establish a baseline for fair compensation, especially if you are moving to a different region. Interview broadly to get an idea of what you are being offered and how different practices operate. Do not settle for less. The current IR job market is excellent, and with just a bit of research and due diligence, you too can secure the job that is the best fit for you.
Feel free to reach out to me via email at email@example.com if you have any questions, or if I can help you in any way with the process. Good luck!