is Emeritus Editor of this journal and Alumni Professor of
Radiology in the Department of Radiology, University of Virginia
Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, VA.
What goes around comes around again, or it's déjà vu all over
again. When I first became department chairman in 1964, I found I
was unable to recruit American radiologists because of the great
disparity between academic salaries and the income provided by
private practice. Now in 2003, we are facing this same problem
again, despite a decided improvement in academic salaries. The
problem of the recruitment of faculty grows in its severity with
each passing year, particularly as our senior academicians
I managed to staff my department in the early years by
recruiting well-trained radiologists from Scandinavia, England,
Ireland, and Holland who wanted to spend one or more years in an
American academic medical center. We were able to do this by virtue
of special limited licensing, which permitted these individuals to
work in a teaching hospital without the barriers of intense
examination that are currently in place. It seems that it is time
that we, again, make a special case for our teaching hospitals to
permit well-qualified foreign physicians to join our academic
programs to help alleviate the staff shortage we now face.
There are many well-trained European and British Commonwealth
radiologists who would gladly spend one or more years in our
departments to participate in patient care, teaching, and research,
provided they were not subjected to the same qualification process
required of foreign physicians who intend to remain and practice in
the United States.
To re-establish this program, it will be necessary for our
department chairs to recruit the aid of their deans and legislators
to petition for this special legislation. It has been successful in
the past and it is a reasonable solution to a problem that is
becoming progressively more acute. We have done ourselves a
disservice by cutting off this source of worthwhile faculty.