September 1999

Meeting at 9/30/99
MMS headquarters in Waltham

Meeting was called to order at 6:30pm.


    Mark Hansberry, MD (President): MH
    Christoph Wald, MD PhD (Secretary): CW
    Peter Gordon, MD: PG
    Alex Chen, MD: AC
    Frank Shin, MD: FS


1. Fall Program / Forum
Main issue to be discussed at this meeting was the upcoming fall forum under the title“Business Aspects of Radiology,” which will be held at the BWH (Anaesthesia Department) at 10/21/99, 7:00pm. Emily Sedgwick has reserved the room and arranged catering for the program, the latter will be provided courtesy of the Massachusetts Radiological Society.

At the beginning of the forum PG will address the audience with a welcome restating the dedication of the MRS to the residents section. This will be followed by a 10 minute address by MH as the current president of the MRSRS. He will use this opportunity to report from the recent annual ACR meeting in Washington, in particular the issues discussed by the resident state representatives (RSR). MH explained tonight that several interest groups including the association of program directors are currently attempting to change the fellowship application process towards a match. However, RSR overwhelmingly voted against this change and were able to communicate this to the above group of senior radiologists surprised by the reaction of the residents. The matter will be discussed further in future committee meetings and be a major issue during the upcoming 2000 ACR meeting. Residents in the states should consider other more palatable alternatives to improve the application process and may be able to come up with a different suggestion during the course of the year ahead.

It was felt that the forum should provide insight into business aspects of Radiology relevant to residents/fellows who are at or considering the transition into “the real world” applying for jobs. The forum should be an opportunity to learn about the various types of practice setup out there, the implications re. time commitment, type of job, partnership tract systems etc. Interview skills will also be a topic to provide residents with a different perspective on the interaction between potential employer and candidate. PG has recruited Bill Perry (Business Manager for Radiology Groups, statewide operations) and Mike Hall (Accountant) to speak for 15 minutes each. Saif Siddiqi has made contact with Pierre Sasson (Radiologist at Mount Auburn Hospital), MH contacted Marla Darling (former fellow, now staff at BWH) and Steve Lee (Radiologist who worked in private practice in NY and is now staff at Baystate), each of them will speak for approximately 10 minutes. This will be followed by open discussion for about 20 minutes. MH will conclude the evening with another reminder for people in the audience to join the MRS, an invitiation to actively get involved in the resident section, give feedback on the forum, submit ideas on future forum topics or any other resident related issues. It will be stressed that anybody is welcome to submit ideas in form of e-mail to the group if they prefer not to attend meetings etc. CW will check with the Mass.Med.Society Resident Section liaison Emily Hopkins whether a listserver type email service could be made available to our group, possibly administrated by Ginny DuLong. This would facilitate electronic communication between the members of our group. Saif Siddiqi has prepared a flyer announcing the fall forum, details were discussed. It was decided to send out the flyer to neighbouring states/programs in RI, ME and CT. MH will revalidate the fax/e-mail details of the Massachusetts Radiology Residency program directors and subsequently send out the flyers to them. Registration forms will be available to newcomers during the fall forum.

2. Spring Forum
It was decided to wait with the discussion about topics for the upcoming spring forum 2000 until after the fall forum. This will provide an opportunity to fall forum participants to submit their ideas. We will discuss the spring forum during our next scheduled meeting.

3. Future Meetings
The next meetings were tentatively scheduled for the second Thursday in November 99, February 2000 and the Spring Forum for the first half of April 2000. Meetings will be announced by mail including a map and instructions how to get to the new MMS muilding. At the beginning of each academic year beginning in July 2000 we will send out a letter to new radiology residents to draw attention to the residents section and help to increase levels of membership and participation.

4. Miscellaneous Issues
Details of resident responsibility/duties during call hours were discussed, particularly comparing the setup at Baystate with Lahey Clinic. Radiology residents at Lahey Clinic dictate the on-call studies immediately upon completion into an electronic dictation system by means of which the result is made available to the requesting clinician immediately. It is the responsibility of the requesting clinician to obtain the result of the study, the resident will only phone the clinician directly at his/her own discretion. At Baystate, communication of the result is always the responsibility of the resident, which leads to considerable loss of time and frustration attempting to find the appropriate clinician.

We also compared other aspects of residency, including protected conference time/teaching sessions and resident-attending interaction. It was noted that Baystate residents cannot refuse to perform emergency studies that do not appear to be indicated, while at Lahey this is possible. This lead to a discussion about different practice environments. It was also interesting to note that at Baystate studies ordered through the ER are not requested by the clinician directly contacting the resident but are entered into the computer by the ER nurses, often without any clinical information or with misleading information.

Another topic were work hours (including regulations for post-call days) and resident salaries. When talking to other radiology residents during a meeting in winter this year, CW noted that salaries this year for residents at Lahey Clinic (regardless of specialty) were the lowest of the entire state, as much as $4,000 below the average and $9,000 below the highest income residents of Massachusetts. Supported by data obtained from the FREIDA database maintained by the AMA the issue was brought before the hospital GME committee and subsequently brought to the attention of the hospital administration. Changes were promised but haven’t yet come into effect.

Most of the above issues are a good example why communication between residents from different hospital settings is so important and why the MRS Resident Section is such a crucial forum for exchange of relevant information. The salary issue also illustrates that residents can influence and change their environment if action is reasonable and coordinated. There continues to be a trend in virtually all major institutions of organised medicine and regulatory bodies to encourage resident participation including the MRS, ACR, AMA, MMS etc.

The meeting closed at 10:30pm.

Minutes respectfully submitted by CW.