Measuring the academic radiologist's clinical productivity: survey results for subspecialty sections

R L Arenson, Y Lu, S C Elliott, C Jovais, D E Avrin
Academic Radiology 2001, 8 (6): 524-32

RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this project was to understand better the academic radiologist's clinical workload in order to determine faculty staffing requirements more accurately.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Surveys performed by the Society of Chairmen of Academic Radiology Departments (SCARD) collected data for radiologists in 20 departments in 1996 and 1998; the data included work relative value units (RVUs) per full-time equivalent (FTE). Radiologists in each subspecialty were compared with their counterparts in other departments. The data were collected for each radiologist. Summary statistics showing averages, medians, and quartiles were used to describe workload (in RVUs per FTE) for each department and each subspecialty.

RESULTS: Overall, the average clinical workload was 4,458 RVU/FTE, with 0.62 RVU per procedure. In those sections for which the faculty performed similar types of procedures across departments, the results were useful. The workload data, however, proved inadequate to compare across subspecialty sections. Between 1996 and 1998, the workload increased from 3,790 to 4,458 RVU/FTE.

CONCLUSION: The SCARD survey provided very useful clinical workload data, measured in work RVUs per FTE for specific subspecialty sections. At practically all surveyed institutions, increasing clinical workload is competing with academic activities.

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