“Work-life balance not yet a topic in thoracic radiology”

This year sees the 20th anniversary of the European Society of Thoracic Imaging’s inaugural meeting. However, the ESTI 2012 in London will not only look back at the beginnings of the organisation but, as always, towards the future of thoracic imaging.

Martine Remy-Jardin
Martine Remy-Jardin

 For only the second time since the society’s foundation, a woman will be at the helm, as Dr Martine Remy-Jardintakes over from Katerina Malagari of Athens. ESTI Times talked to Dr Martine Remy- Jardin about her expectations for the role and about the workload she will face as president, professor, consultant and mother.

Time and time again there have been alarming findings about high workloads amongst doctors. According to a recent study, every 4th medic apparently suffers from symptoms of exhaustion. It is unlikely that the radiologist
community is immune to this problem. However, according to Martine Remy-Jardin, the work-life balance largely depends on the working structures. “The balance between work and leisure is down to whether you work in private practice or in a hospital, whether you only work diagnostics or also in teaching and research, and whether you are male or female,” explains the professor from Lille. Women in particular need good time management skills to cope with the demands of work and their private lives.
Along with all working women, female radiologists, unlike their male colleagues, have bigger organisational issues. “Optimum utilisation of time and more efficiency are the prerequisites for women to meet all the challenges of work and private life. Women with families simply cannot be available around the clock, which is why she would welcome the introduction of arrangements which make it easier for women to find their place in professional life,” explains the designated president.
A better balance between work and family however, can only be achieved on a national level, says Remy-Jardin. “There is not yet an awareness of this issue in the radiological community, we haven’t got our finger on the pulse of time,” admits Remy-Jardin. Young radiologists at the beginning of their careers, who may have to manage shifts in the hospital and the care of young children at home, are faced with a particularly tough challenge. Remy-Jardin certainly sees starting points for action here; however, whether or  not she will be able to achieve improvements during her time as president remains to be seen. Overall though the cooperation with male colleagues in radiology is very harmonious, and the working environment is very tolerant, affirms the professor. 
She looks forward to her presidency and is very proud to be allowed to represent European Thoracic Radiology. Thanks to the good work by the commission which is preparing the international congress in Seoul next year, her workload is largely manageable. “Incidentally, we benefit from the good organisational structures provided by our hosts in Seoul, allowing us to look forward to an exciting and diversified congress.”


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