AAWR at ARRS Luncheon 2014

By Elizabeth Kagan Arleo, MD

On Wednesday, May 7th at the ARRS annual meeting at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, nearly 40 residents, fellows and Attendings – including two good men – gathered for the AAWR luncheon. Dr. Yoshimi Anzai, AAWR President, presided, kicking off the event by presenting Dr. Manisha Bahl, MD, MPH with the AAWR trainee award for best scientific presentation.

  Dr. Anzai then introduced Dr. Julia Fielding, Professor of Radiology and Chief of Abdominal Imaging at UNC Chapel Hill, who spoke on “Negotiations: How to Get the Job You Really Want.” The menu included salad with grilled chicken, iced tea, and delicious-looking cookies.

 The discussion began by acknowledging the relatively tight job market, and how the change in the boards, with the elimination of the orals, may affect hiring patterns. Many in the room we reassured, however, to hear from ACR’s Dr. Paul Ellenbogen that there are still ~1200 Radiology jobs available annually, which roughly matches the number of Radiology residents graduating annually.

Then importance of “Professionalism” was discussed, during residency, during a job search, and beyond. A formal, well-groomed appearance is part of this, noted Dr. Fielding, advising, “Get the best suit you possibly can and consider a necklace or broach that will really pop.” She then shared a specific negotiation tactic from an executive coach: Ask for what you want, more than once if you have to – if you don’t ask, it’s not going to happen - but also remember the “3 Rule:” have 3 acceptable alternatives to optimize the chances of a positive outcome. Specific recommendations for salary negotiation included: if you ask for more money, then offer to do more of something else (such as call) to justify it; or if you would accept a lower number, then negotiate for less associated call (or something else of value). Also, remarked Dr. Ellenbogen, be like a car salesman and do not propose a round number: if you would be satisfied with $200,000, then asking for $202,899 not only makes it look like you did your homework, but also gives wiggle room for negotiation.          

 The importance of “doing your homework” about potential places of employment, salaries, and promotion criteria was also emphasized.  One attendee recommended looking for moonlighting opportunities at employment places of interest as a way of proving yourself in advance of a know job availability so that if/when a job comes up, you will potentially be considered first. She also recommended the following websites for salary information:


·         Theglassdoor.com

·         tripleArad.org

·         AAMC

Tips for getting promoted from Assistant to Associate Professor in an academic environment were also covered. “Being an Associated Professor is a great place to be,” said Dr. Fielding. To get there, figure out what track you are on, get a checklist of requirements in your hand, be on two useful hospital committees, and have someone who wants to see you get promoted were advised.

Finally, the luncheon concluded with the important point that negotiation should be about relationship-building. Explain your visions and goals, but also why you want to do what you want to do. Ending on a positive note, Dr. Fielding said, “you can get what you want….just remember that in negotiation, you want to build a bridge, not burn one.”