BackTable / VI / Podcast / Episode #277
Private Equity and the Radiology Job Environment
with Dr. Ben White
In this episode, co-hosts Drs. Ally Baheti and Mike Barraza interview diagnostic radiologist and blogger Dr. Ben White, who speaks about private equity (PE) ownership of radiology practices, the nationwide radiologist shortage, and advice for navigating job offers.
BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2022, December 30). Ep. 277 – Private Equity and the Radiology Job Environment [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from https://www.backtable.com
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Dr. Ben White
Dr. Ben White is a neuroradiologist with American Radiology Associates and an assistant professor in Dallas, Texas.
Dr. Aparna Baheti
Dr. Aparna Baheti is a practicing Interventional Radiologist in Tacoma, Washington.
Dr. Michael Barraza
Dr. Michael Barraza is a practicing interventional radiologist (and all around great guy) with Radiology Associates in Baton Rouge, LA.
Dr. White starts the episode by sharing his passion for writing, especially regarding topics that have affected his journey in medicine. His blog features topics that are useful for both trainees and physicians. His current practice structure is an independent diagnostic radiology practice, which is fully owned by physician partners. He thinks that this “priva-demics” job is well-suited to his interest in teaching residents and medical students. He also enjoys the autonomy that the practice has in staffing– it can remain non-bureaucratic and flexible to address patient care.
Next, Dr. White explains the factors driving the rise of PE buyouts of radiology practices, including the pros and cons of becoming a PE-owned practice. During a buyout, radiologists are offered more cash and stocks upfront in exchange for a loss of practice autonomy and a cap on future salaries. While PE firms usually advertise buyout as an opportunity to strengthen the practice with more resources, obtain help with debt payment, and eliminate inefficiencies, these benefits may not come to fruition in the long term. Additionally, radiologists may leave practices if they are not satisfied with PE management and priorities, which result in staffing shortages. Buyouts also affect independent radiology practices, since PE-owned practices are able to offer higher salaries for less work, which artificially inflate salaries across the radiology market. Dr. White fears that smaller practices and hospitals will lose their radiology workforces and will be forced to shed low-paying contracts and cease to provide imaging services for patient populations who need medical care the most. Additionally, there is unavoidable friction that arises when third party employers come between the patient-physician relationship.
Finally, Dr. White gives advice to radiologists about approaching each job prospect with a holistic perspective, including job factors that cannot be measured. He encourages early career radiologists to identify their values and ask themselves if they view their next job as simply a short term stop, or if they want to set up roots for the long term. This distinction can help guide them in making career decisions.
Disclaimer: The Materials available on BackTable.com are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.