January 13, 2023

The Power of Optimism Drives a Growth Mindset

Ivan M. DeQuesada II, MD

Ivan M. DeQuesada II, MDThe beginning of a new year is a great time for reflection. In fact, it’s the perfect time to evaluate whether you’re an optimist or a pessimist about the future of radiology. The easiest way to judge is perhaps having a conversation with a medical student — would you still recommend your specialty to them?

It’s easy to be pessimistic about radiology. Even though we play a critical role within nearly all care pathways, we’re not exalted like some other specialties — sometimes we don’t even seem to get a seat at the table in the healthcare systems we serve. Our “turf” is always being encroached. Reimbursement cuts that seem to preferentially target imaging are the ever-present sword of Damocles. Will artificial intelligence eventually supplant our entire value? Early-career radiologists carry a lot of existential baggage!

But I’m an optimist. I think it’s equally easy to be hopeful about the future of radiology. In spite of professional competition and reimbursement cuts, the specialty continues to innovate in medicine. Whether it’s revolutionary new imaging techniques, devices, or procedures and software products driven by deep learning, we continue to see strong support for the research and development of imaging science. If substantial new investments are happening, it’s not because investors think imaging is headed for inevitable failure. It’s because they are optimists too, and they are investing a lot in our futures!

The power of optimism drives a growth mindset. We can hope for positive outcomes that keep us on a successful trajectory, or we can make contributions to ensure that it happens. Supporting the ACR® is one of the ways that I protect the future of our specialty. The ACR is our unified voice, empowering us all to see that an optimistic outlook bends the curve in the right direction. By working together to preserve the future, we can continue to recommend it without hesitation.