Objective: The American College of Radiology sought to detail the initial employment experience of 1997 diagnostic radiology graduates and recent trends.
Materials and methods: In early 1998, questionnaires were mailed to all graduates; 65% responded. Results were compared with similar surveys of 1995 and 1996 graduates.
Results: Much as in past years, immediately after graduation 4% of residency graduates and 9% of fellowship graduates spent some time working as a locum tenens, working outside radiology, or unemployed, but by 6-12 months after graduation, 2% or fewer were not employed. The median fellowship graduate's salary was 5% greater than in 1996. Twelve percent of fellowship graduates were in non-ownership-track jobs, much the same as in earlier years. Thirty-two percent had one or more of 12 possibly undesirable job characteristics, down from 39% in 1996; 14% not only had, but actually disliked, one or more of these characteristics, much the same as in 1996, but down from 23% in 1995. Multivariate analysis showed that women graduates were more likely than men to have had serious employment difficulties in the immediate postgraduation months; and that graduates having a spouse who also had to find a job in the same area were more likely than others to be in a putatively "seriously undesirable" location or in "holding pattern" employment while looking for something better or more permanent.
Conclusion: Unemployment remained very low. Some other indicators of the employment market showed improvement. Factors expected to affect employment outcomes-for example, training program quality or having major non-spouse-related restrictions on job location-had surprisingly little effect.