Radiology Breast Imaging Clinic in theUniversity of Pennsylvania Health System
It has been a long day for her, and somewhat fatigued, she goes outside the hospital and decides to walk back to her apartment, instead of taking the bus as usual. Dr. Valerie Swanson has been a radiologist for 13 years now at the Breast Imaging Center of Pennsylvania Hospital (PAH) of the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS). From the time she was 12 years old, she knew that she wanted to become a doctor. Four years of college, four years of medical school, five years of residency training, and another year of a specialization in breast imaging later, Valerie has the perfect academic and professional training for her clinical duties.
Valerie loves her job, even though it is not an easy one. On a normal day, she sees over 100 patients, most of them in the form of a digital image. Almost all of these patients can be sent home minutes after the images are read. In Valerie’s profession, no news is good news. However, her job also involves bearing bad news—news that change lives forever.
Last month, Valerie was appointed as the division chief at PAH. As much as she feels happy about and proud of the promotion, this new role means that beyond worrying about her own patients, she is responsible for managing a fairly significant operation. Seven radiologists (some of whom have practiced many more years than she has), 20 staff members, and over 20,000 combined examinations and procedures per year, in an approximately 3,200-sqft physical space, means that her new job is almost as much being a CEO as it is being a physician, more MBA than MD.
As impressive as these big numbers may be by themselves, the devil is, as usual, in the details. Just in today’s staff meeting, some of the radiologists again complained about annoyances that Valerie knows all too well from her clinical duties. She and her peers have to wait for files to upload on the work station monitors, in addition to changing the linens between patient visits in the mammography rooms.