All of you churchgoers out there are all too familiar with the annual stewardship pitch. It happens every year, it is not fun to listen to, nor is it fun to make. It’s the month each year when your parish asks for financial support (hopefully more than the year before). Without it, however, everything from maintenance to mission would be compromised.
As the inaugural meeting of the Radiology Leadership Institute drew to a close, this onerous task fell to John Patti, MD, ACR president, who addressed an underlying problem endemic to physician leadership: supporting the great number of volunteer hours it takes to have a vital and effective American College of Radiology.
“Volunteerism and leadership are inexorably linked” Patti says. “Someone has to assume that leadership, and you are the volunteers that lead the practice. But the question that needs to be answered is, how does your practice support leadership?”
The show of hands in response to how many hours practices gave leaders for practice, hospital and national leadership positions made it clear than many leaders in radiology are digging deeply into personal time to keep their leadership commitments.
Making the case for volunteerism at the national level, Patti had clearly done his homework. He had calculated the number of hours required to serve as a state chapter president (28 days/year); a council steering committee member (34 hours/year); a council speaker (64 days/year); and a board of chancellors economic chair (110 days/year).
Sharing several assumptions about the number of days per year a radiologist works and the revenue generated per FTE, Patti projected a chart that represented the percentage of income associated with allocating 12 days to 54 days a year for a 5-person, 10-person, 20-person, 40-person, and 60-person group. The percentages ranged from 0.96% for 1 day/month for a 5-person practice to .28% for 54 days/year for a 60-person practice.
“Can we really afford not to support leadership?” Patti asks.