We’re hiring!

Well, not me/this little site.

But my organically-growing 100%-independent physician-owned radiology practice of which I am a partner/shareholder is hiring in most subspecialties including breast, body, neuro, neuro-IR, ER, and general. Basically everything except MSK and IR at the moment.

The market is hot, as I’m sure every radiologist and resident has heard, so we’re currently interviewing senior residents for 2023 starts as we speak, but we can accommodate folks finishing fellowship or out in practice if things are a good fit as soon as the credentialing ink dries.

I’ve written before about why I believe some job healthcare models are problematic, and why not all attending jobs are created equal. I’ve also written before about how to approach getting your first job out of training. My perspective and biases about radiology practice are on full display.

Our group was/is my first job out of training. I made partner last year and recently began serving on our board of directors. It was the job I wanted–so much so that the day I got the interview invitation email (after already having job offers waiting for a response), I did an actual Street Fighter dragon punch of victory and told the others they were going to have to wait past their response deadlines. I was drawn by two things:

  1. A well-established successful privademic model combining teaching-focused academics with the no-BS of private practice (with positions leaning more in different directions based on interest), which gave me the chance to teach and work with trainees in a more flexible environment than a traditional big academic bureaucracy. I’m currently the associate program director for our residency, and our residents are awesome.
  2. A sustainable job model combining high-quality (as opposed to only high-volume) radiology practice with reasonable daily expectations and the goal of a standard 4-day workweek (today is my day off!). I wanted the time and mental space to also be a partner at home and have the flexibility to do the other things that are important to me (like this). My colleagues are good at what we do, and I learn from them every day.

So if you’re in the market, come work with me and check out our great team in Dallas. If you’re interested, send me your CV at ben.white@americanrad.com and I’ll make sure it gets where it needs to go.

External Medicine

I was on the External Medicine podcast for a wide-ranging conversation about medical education, training, blogging, and even nanofiction. It’s a really well-edited show run by two brothers (who also happen to be starting radiology residency in a few months).

Check it out here or on your favorite podcast app.

The COVID-related PSLF boon continues

You probably know by now that the pandemic student loan payment pause was officially extended through Aug 31, 2022. Given midterm elections in November, I suspect there will be one more round of good news announced this summer and payments won’t actually start until–for example–January 1.

So that 0% rate continues to save people lots of money, and those $0 payments still count toward loan forgiveness including PSLF. There is probably no group this helps more than attending physicians.

But for anyone with rising incomes and especially more recent attendings, the additional pause extension news is likely even better than you’d think. From the recent announcement:

You won’t be required to recertify before payments restart, and the earliest you could be required to recertify is March 2023.

You may still see a recertification date that is earlier than March 2023 on your account Aid Summary. We are working to get those updated, and we thank you for your patience. If your recertification date falls between now and March 2023, it will be pushed out by one year. For example, if your account says your recertification date is Dec. 1, 2022, that date will be pushed out to Dec. 1, 2023.

For many borrowers, the next recertification deadline will be pushed even further into the future, potentially way past the point when student loan payments start again. Even if payments begin in August (or January), a lot of doctors will enjoy months if not almost a year of payments based on their last recertification from years ago, which means that a relatively recent graduate may enjoy trainee-sized payments for that much longer, and some residents may enjoy $0 payments for a while even after repayment restarts.

So a lot of folks–especially a lot of attending physicians–will get to benefit from significantly suppressed payments after the $0 period ends, likely resulting in thousands of dollars of additional eventual PSLF savings.

A slow end to a long hobby

The more intrepid readers of this site may know that one of my more unusual hobbies for the past 13 years has been running an indie lit mag called Nanoism. Back when it launched in March 2009, you see, I was doing more short fiction writing than blogging or other writing (oh how times change). Some of you even submit stories from time to time, which I always enjoy.

Nanoism was and remains relatively unique because it is a venture dedicated to the admittedly absurd artform of tweet-sized fiction (I promise I don’t take it too seriously). There are many independent literary journals, and they rise and fall with the seasons. This has been a pretty long run compared to average, but it’s near time for this chapter to end.

Here is part of today’s announcement post:

Nanoism wasn’t the first “twitterzine” in the world (that would be the long-defunct speculative fiction account @thaumatrope), but it was one of the first, by far the longest continuously running, and remains the only paying venue for literary/nongenre stories of this extremely tiny size.

Over the past thirteen years, we’ve published 948 standalone tweet-sized stories, multiple longer serials, ran contests to raise money for charity, been on NPR, and had stories featured in best short fiction anthologies and books on craft. On a personal note, I got married, finished medical school, finished residency and fellowship, and had two kids. I did a lot of blogging and less and less fiction. Such is life. I’ve been an overscheduled and generally poor steward for the form and this venture, but it’s been a lovely little journey.

Now, I believe we’re reaching the end. I think that our 999th (or maybe our 1000th?) story would be a nice number to complete the collection. With our current weekly schedule, that means Nanoism will cease publishing new stories around April 2023 after 14 years of continuous operation.

So this will be my final year of reading thousands of submissions and publishing new weekly stories. If you’re a closet writer or are even just curious to try, check out the announcement post, read a few of the collection, and then try your hand.


Wanting Less

Some highlights from the essay “How to Want Less” by Arthur C. Brooks in The Atlantic.

Homeostasis keeps us alive and healthy. But it also explains why drugs and alcohol work as they do, as opposed to how we wish they would…It’s why, when you achieve conventional, acquisitive success, you can never get enough. If you base your sense of self-worth on success—money, power, prestige—you will run from victory to victory, initially to keep feeling good, and then to avoid feeling awful.

My thought: Like the two factory theory of motivation and hygiene, success (especially monetarily) may help you be less dissatisfied (being impoverished is hard), but the absence of dissatisfaction is not satisfaction.

“The nature of [adaptation] condemns men to live on a hedonic treadmill,” the psychologists Philip Brickman and Donald T. Campbell wrote in 1971, “to seek new levels of stimulation merely to maintain old levels of subjective pleasure, to never achieve any kind of permanent happiness or satisfaction.”

Professional self-objectification is a tyranny every bit as nasty. You become a heartless taskmaster to yourself, seeing yourself as nothing more than Homo economicus. Love and fun are sacrificed for another day of work, in search of a positive internal answer to the question Am I successful yet? We become cardboard cutouts of real people.

We become cardboard cutouts of real people is an amazingly clear description of what the current form of meritocracy, conventional “acquisitive success,” and social media has wrought.

In truth, our formula, Satisfaction = getting what you want, leaves out one key component. To be more accurate, it should be: Satisfaction = what you have ÷ what you want

Our mental state rests in the balance between reality and expectation/desire.

It is the wanting, for which there is always more, that binds us to the Sisyphean futility of the hedonic treadmill.

And getting off is hard.