Unreimbursed Costs of Multidisciplinary Conferences to a Radiology Department: A Prospective Analysis at an Academic Medical Center

Lindsay M. Stratchko, Annika E. Rossebo, Meridith A. Kisting, J. Louis Hinshaw, Lu Mao, Cristopher A. Meyer, Jessica B. Robbins, Michael J. Tuite, Thomas M. Grist, Fred T. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Multidisciplinary conferences (MDCs) are important for clinical care but are unreimbursed and can be time-consuming for radiologists to prepare for and present. The purpose of this single-center, prospective, survey-based study is to measure the per-conference time and total time radiologists devote to MDCs at a single academic medical center. Secondary objectives are to determine the source of radiologist preparation time, and calculate the per conference and overall radiology departmental costs of MDC participation. Methods: A prospective survey was performed to capture all radiology preparation and presentation time for MDCs in a 3-month period, which was then annualized. Total cost was calculated on the basis of Association of Administrators in Academic Radiology survey data for nonchair academic radiologist compensation plus a 30% fringe-benefit rate. Results: The survey response rate was 86.9%. A total of 3,358 hours were devoted annually to MDCs, which represents time equivalent to 1.9 full-time equivalents or $1,155,152 in unreimbursed radiology departmental costs. Per-MDC total preparation and presentation time was 2.7 hours, at an annual cost of $46,440 for each weekly MDC. Radiologists used a combination of personal time (49.7%), academic time (42%), and/or clinical time (35.4%) to prepare for MDCs. Radiologists devoted a mean of 47.9 hours (1.2 weeks) of time per annum to MDCs. Conclusions: Radiologist time devoted to MDCs at the survey institution was substantial, and preparation time was drawn disproportionately from personal and academic time, which may have negative implications for burnout, recruitment and retention, and academic productivity unless it is effectively mitigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-675
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Radiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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