Dr. Jose Pizarro is a radiologist based out of Longboat Key, Florida. He is the founder and CEO of his new business venture, Premier Diagnostic Imaging (PDI), which focuses on the use of innovative and cutting-edge technology in the space of medical imaging.
Dr. Jose Pizarro begun his career in medicine in 2002 after he completed his fellowship in neuroradiology at the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital. He received his Doctor of Medicine from the University of Puerto Rico before completing his residency at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. Since he opened Premier Diagnostic Imaging five years ago, Dr. Pizzaro entrepreneurial skill set has allowed him to provide his expertise to hundreds of medical centers across the country.
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
There are many roles that a radiologist will fill. While we’re physicians, we’re also technicians as we’re very technical in nature. We deal with a lot of technology and physics. Not only do we deal with patients and referring doctors, but we are also working as consultants. We fill so many different roles, and I really enjoy that. We’re not just seeing patients at a clinic or performing surgeries, but rather doing a combination of everything.
I also really enjoy that technology is evolving. Radiology is the most technologically advanced field in medicine with all the new tools that are continuously coming out. The research going on is very exciting. I also like the flexibility. We don’t have to be in a specific place to do our job. With all the technology nowadays, we can be anywhere. We can be productive wherever there’s an internet connection.
How do you motivate others?
I stay motivated by sharing ideas with colleagues and giving them new ideas as well. I like to lead by example. I possess strong motivation and work ethic, and I try to make that contagious. I always try to share what makes me happy and the tools that have helped me in life. I tend to motivate people with positivity rather than negativity. Of course, some negative feedback is necessary at times, but for the most part I think, positive feedback is the biggest motivator there is. I think people enjoy working with people that are positive and treat them well. I tend to be very complimentary of people when they do a good job. I try to drive them to do bigger and better things as they evolve in their career. I think that was very helpful when I was training residents when I was an academic.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
My father was a huge role model for me as a radiologist. He was very dedicated and enjoyed what he did. He had a lot of curiosity about newer ideas, technology and had a great work ethic.
Another role model was my mentor, Dr. Manuel Viamonte. He was the chairman and medical director of radiology when I was in my residency at Mount Sinai in Miami. He held that position for over 40 years with many publications to his name. He was a great teacher and an amazing human being. We had a close relationship and he sought me out to be chairman after he retired. That was a great honor for me. I was the youngest academic chairman in the US at the time in my late 30s. I had a very prestigious role there, but I had very big shoes to fill after he stepped down.
How do you maintain a solid work life balance?
I schedule routine physical activities. I work out, eat healthy and spend time with my family, especially my three children. I spend time with them, inquiring about their day and being involved in some of their decisions with mentoring and advice.
I also have a great group of friends and make sure that in the evenings and on weekends that we enjoy time together by participating in sports, boating, fishing or other activities. Here in Florida, we’re blessed to have good weather year-round for the most part. Physical activity and being out in the sun is a great thing for counteracting some of the stress that we have during the work day.
What traits do you possess that makes a successful leader?
I’m very honest and straightforward with people. I tend to be positive rather than negative. I’m very supportive of people in pursuing goals in their careers and try to instill in them that they can do what they want if they focus and work hard. I don’t require that people do something if I’m not doing it myself. It’s a lot easier for people to follow someone to the trenches if you can inspire them that way. Also, being friendly and sociable is a big help.
What suggestions do you have for someone starting in your industry?
Try to find at some point, sooner rather than later, what you’re passionate about or have a strong interest in. Radiology training in the industry is so vast and extensive, and there’s so much to learn that it can be impossible for one person to be good at all of it. An important thing for people to remember when they’re starting out is that they must decide what field interests them so they can really focus. They will have their work cut out for them when learning all the different subspecialties in radiology, especially with the way it’s growing so quickly.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
The hardest obstacle for me was going from a very comfortable position in academics, which is often a career move for most people, and deciding to take the leap to go out on my own. But I’m very passionate about what I’m doing now, and I’m glad that I did it. It took a big toll on me at the time but having the freedom and independence to reinvent myself with this has been a great satisfaction for me.
Where do you see you and your company in 5 years?
In five years, I would like to see my company continuing to increase in size. We are looking to do more work in multiple other states. Right now, we are in Florida, Colorado, New York, California and Arizona, but I would love to continue to grow and see my company in all states within five years. I would like for us to do more of the traumatic brain imaging studies and continue to do very important cases. I would still like to be a part of the day-in and day-out of the company. I plan on doing this many more years and if my health continues to be as good as it is, then I think that we can easily become a nationwide company.