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Wrapping Our Heads Around the Radiologist Shortage in the Northeast

Despite having the lowest number of jobs available in the specialty, there are more radiology residents in the Northeast than any other region in the United States, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

The study’s author, Cory Pfeifer, MD, an assistant professor of radiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, set out to determine the growth of radiology resident positions between 2006 and 2016 in comparison to the number of currently open positions nation-wide. Pfeifer utilized data from the National Resident Matching Program that pertained to the number of interventional radiology and diagnostic radiology enrollees between 2012 and 2016. He found that more new radiology programs received their accreditation during this time.

Out of all 50 states, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania boast the greatest number of radiology residents. However, according to surveys from the ACR Commission on Human Resources Workforce, the Northeast has the second least number of jobs after the Mid-Atlantic region.

Pfeifer explains that despite public criticism of the job shortage, the numbers continue to remain slight. “Attempting to estimate the need for new radiologists will always be limited by speculative data,” he said. “The question, however, remains as to whether the radiology community should simply hope for the best or take a step back and analyze the evolution of the problem with the goal of attempting to avert future crises.”

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