Full Speed Ahead for Radiology Administrators

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AHRA 2019 keynote speaker identifies tips for overcoming challenges and reaching goals in medical imaging.

Imagine that you decide to pick up a sport and have just four years to make it to the Olympics. That is what AHRA 2019 Keynote Speaker, Vince Poscente, asked of his crowd in Denver, CO. Seems farfetched, right? Well that’s exactly what Poscente did, as he went from recreational skier to Olympian speed skier in just a few short years. Poscente learned many life lessons in his journey that are applicable to a multitude of challenges, including managing imaging and medical centers.

Defining moments

How did Poscente’s journey to Canadian Olympian start? He cited the moment that he and his friend, Bob, were both told that their desire to make the Olympian Luge team was unrealistic by the team’s head coach. Poscente gave up on the plan, while his friend Bob stuck to it. Poscente’s defining moment occurred several years later at the opening Olympic ceremonies where Bob’s name was announced as a member of the Canadian Luge team. He knew right there as he held his ticket that he wanted to be on the other side – as an Olympian Skier.

photo of Vince Poscente on stage at AHRA
At AHRA 2019, Vince Poscente shared his life lessons that are applicable to the challenges of managing imaging and medical centers.

Whether they occur in our personal or work lives, we all need to recognize these defining moments to fully appreciate the impact they have on our successes and failures. Not only will it give us greater perspective, but it can also give us awareness on how to overcome adversity, and to foresee the impact of future defining moments.

Alignment and emotional buzz

Emotion and passion are powerful agents that can be used not only to motivate one’s self, but also people around you. Poscente gave an example of how he had slight interest in adding a salt-water aquarium to his office. However, he went to a local aquarium store where he was greeted by the passionate and eccentric store owner. The owner excitedly described all of his favorite types of tanks and fish. The result of the owner’s passionate product descriptions was Poscente buying a $3,000 aquarium.

What if that passionate product description was instead used to describe an Extremity CT system or a new company plan? Poscente argued that emotional buzz like this is what drives alignment and, ultimately, success, within a team.

Medical administrators who experience emotional buzz with their work are far more likely to get others to support a cause through their passionate investment. Once everyone becomes aligned, the journey will be much smoother and more successful.

Discomfort and bumps in the road

Challenges are always to be expected when trying to achieve a worthy goal. Poscente listed fear, discomfort, and bumps in the road as the most common challenges. But how do you get past these? Poscente argued that we need to find a way to increase confidence and reduce fear in an effort to enhance performance.

Early on in his pursuit to become an Olympian speed skier, Poscente was denied access to a wind tunnel, which is commonly used by skiers to develop their skills. This forced Poscente to improvise and discover what his competition was unwilling to do. He found the fastest car owned by his friends, strapped the skis to the roof, latched on, and had his friend speed around the streets. Though medical administrators won’t need to do anything quite as dramatic as this example, Poscente’s story shows the value of creativity when in pursuit of a goal.

Whether your road bump is the bombardment of frequent distractions, constant regulatory changes, or financial hurdles, leaders within imaging facilities need to discover creative solutions to their challenges so that they can achieve their goals.

Fight fear with fun

Fear wasn’t an issue for Poscente until he made it further in his Olympian pursuit. When it did, he became very ill during a World Cup competition. He was shaking and battled stomach illness the night prior. He had to constantly remind himself to stay confident.

Dave Stabenow introduced Vince Poscente. Carestream was pleased to sponsor the keynote speaker at AHRA2019.

When the event arrived and it was his turn, he did his best to talk himself into being confident. As he was about to propel himself down the hill, a man in the crowd started shouting at another fan calling him a “pig.” This seriously distracted Poscente and threw him out of rhythm. As he tried to refocus, he realized his ski suit was all pink, and he envisioned himself as a skiing pig. The humorous thought made him laugh and loosened him up just before his attempt. He set a new record on that run.

Poscente emphasized the importance of having fun when combating fear and discomfort. In the medical administration field, this could be simply maintaining a fun work relationship with your team, or finding humor in the small things throughout the day. Whatever it may be, it will ultimately become one of your best defenses against the pitfalls of fear, paving the way for a smoother pursuit of your goals.


Radiology administrators have never faced as many unique challenges as they do today. Whether it be staffing, technology, or policy changes, Poscente’s insights can be applied to almost any challenge. The next time you set a goal at your medical imaging center, identify some of the defining moments that got you to where you are. Remember to leverage your emotional buzz into team alignment, and combat fear and discomfort by simply having fun.

Do Poscente’s tips resonate with you? Do you have your own tips for achieving goals as a medical administrator? Comment in the section below!

Ryan Vowles is the Marketing Project and Advertising Manager for Carestream Health. Learn about Carestream’s medical imaging solutions. #AHRA2019 #AHRA #AHRAkeynote #radiologyadministrator #vinceposcente


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