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Are You a Radiologist in it for the Lifestyle? You Might not be Happy

Radiologists who entered the profession to enjoy a cushy lifestyle might not be as happy as those who chose the specialty for intellectual pursuits. A new study from Harvard Medical School has found that medical students who are drawn to the imaging and clinical aspects of radiology will ultimately feel more satisfied with their careers than those who joined the field for more superficial reasons.  

The researchers surveyed 488 radiology residents between December 2016 and March 2017 on questions about their decision to enter the specialty. The gender ratio was somewhat skewed with 358 male respondents and 129 females. Overall, 38 percent said they were influenced by intellectual reasoning, 20 percent said they were influenced by a radiology mentor, the same proportion reported an interest in the imaging component, 16 percent said they were attracted to radiology clerkship interventions exposure, and 14 percent admitted to choosing the specialty for the potential lifestyle.

According to the study, 80 percent of respondents noted “financial and lifestyle security” as a common influencing factor. “Lifestyle is an important consideration for medical students and should not be discounted, as they must consider mounting debts, as well as future goals for themselves, their families and their communities in making career decisions,” wrote the authors. “However, while there is certainly no shame in considering potential lifestyle in choosing a future career, promoting the intellectual component of imaging may help attract medical students that will most appreciate a career in radiology.”

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