What was the most challenging obstacle you faced in your journey to become a radiologist?
In retrospect, the most challenging obstacle I faced as a trainee was my own lack of confidence in envisioning myself as a successful radiologist which further fueled the imposter syndrome created from training within a sea of greatness. Striving for excellence and investing substantial effort into my work, particularly knowing that I was contributing to the well-being of patients, was my motivation. However, it became paradoxical; the very significance of the task at hand, while inspiring, also weighed heavily on my perception of my abilities. This self-doubt hindered my ability to embrace opportunities to lead. Overcoming this hurdle required self-reflection and an acknowledgment of my accomplishments and hard work. Resilience, dedication, and a commitment to providing the best possible care for patients were qualities that contributed to my advancement in the radiology field.
What was the most supportive aspect of your journey in radiology?
In essence, the most supportive aspect of my journey was the convergence of support from multiple avenues. Socially, my family and the chairman and vice chairman at Washington University in St. Louis.
What are some resources and advice you have for trainees experiencing imposter syndrome?
For trainees grappling with imposter syndrome, there are several empowering resources and pieces of advice that can help navigate this challenging mindset and foster personal and professional growth:
Embrace Opportunities: Remember that taking risks and seizing initiatives can lead to incredible personal and professional development. Opportunities are indeed present, and by stepping outside your comfort zone, you can prove to yourself that you are capable of more than you might initially believe.
Dedication to Excellence: Focus on putting in the hard work required to become a competent radiologist who delivers quality reports and exceptional patient care. Striving to be the best in your field will not only enhance your skills but also naturally align various pieces of your professional journey.
Participate in Professional Organizations: Join early career groups in professional radiology societies such as the RSNA, ARRS, and your own subspecialty society like I did with the Society of Abdominal Radiology. Engaging with like-minded peers and mentors can provide a support system and insights that help combat imposter syndrome.
Reflect on Past Achievements: Take time to reflect on your background and journey that have brought you to your current position. Recognize the efforts and strengths that have propelled you forward. Remind yourself that you've reached this point through your capabilities, and you have the potential to excel further.
Mindset Shift: Adopt an abundant mindset and shed the scarcity mentality. Dr. Menias' recommended articles can offer valuable insights into changing your perspective, which can make a significant difference in how you perceive yourself and your capabilities. Remember that imposter syndrome is a challenge that many individuals encounter, regardless of their accomplishments. Check out the following resources to learn more on the subject of mindset shift.
CULTIVATING AN ABUNDANCE MINDSET
IDKD, Davos 2018 Women in Radiology Cooky Menias Words of wisdom from meeting led by Dr. Hedvig Hricak and Dr. Rahel Kubik – t
More about Dr. Christine O. Menias
Dr. Christine O. Menias is a Professor of Radiology in the Abdominal Radiology division of the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Arizona. She joined Mayo Clinic in 2013, is a consultant in the Department of Radiology and Department of Surgery, and is the former Chair of the Division of Abdominal Imaging, Mayo Clinic-Arizona. Prior to this she was Professor of Radiology at Washington University, and co-director of Body CT and Emergency Radiology, in addition to being the Assistant Program Director of the radiology residency at Washington University. Check out Dr. Menias @CasesCookyJar for educational content! Dr. Menias is a recognized leader in the field of Abdominal Imaging, with special interests in oncologic, transplant, gynecologic and emergency radiology. She is an active member in many prestigious radiology societies and consistently invited to lecture at numerous national and international esteemed radiology conferences, including the Radiological Society of North America, American Roentgen Ray Society, American Society of Emergency Radiology, and many international societies. She was selected as the 2016-2017 Igor Laufer Visiting Professor of the Society of Abdominal Radiology (SAR), allowing her to lecture to over 20 national and international radiology institutions. Dr. Menias is a Diplomate in Radiology for the National Board of Medical Examiners, was an examiner for the American Board of Radiology from 2003-2021, and has published seven books, multiple book chapters, and over 320 peer-reviewed manuscripts.
Dr. Menias prides herself most in being an educator and has received numerous teaching awards from residents and fellows, including multiple “Teacher of the Year'' honors, both at Washington University and at Mayo Clinic. Dr. Menias received the American Roentgen Ray Society Educator of the Year Award in 2019 and was awarded the most effective radiology educator by AuntMinnie.com in 2022. Cooky received the Lifetime Honored Educator Award Recipient by the Radiological Society of North America in 2022. Dr. Menias’ clinical focus has been geared toward patient-centered care and her clinical expertise has been recognized by Mayo Clinic, having received the honor of Mayo Clinic Arizona Distinguished Clinician of the Year in 2018, an honor rarely given to a radiologist, and the award of which she is most proud. In 2020, she received the Alumni Achievement Award from Washington University, and was named an Evens Scholar, as one of six distinguished alumni of the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology in 2022, and was most recently awarded the Society of Abdominal Radiology Gold Medal for 2023, which is the highest recognition given by the Society. Dr. Menias currently serves as the first female Editor-in-Chief of RadioGraphics, our leading educational journal for Diagnostic Radiology, and splits her time between Mayo Clinic and the journal.