Radiology’s Biggest Advancement?

Dark room

A radiologist has a window into the human body. The room is filled with silence. She or he sits in complete darkness. The only light that emits is the glow from a computer screen with images on it. Those images may be of you, or your mother, or your father, or your wife or husband, or maybe even your child.

When a person has something causing pain, or discomfort, or sudden changes physically and a physician wants a glimpse inside of the body, to help understand what may be wrong, the person they turn to is a radiologist.

In the New York Time today they published an article entitled, “Radiologist Are Reducing The Pain Of Uncertainty.” Dr. Geraldine McGinty (@DrGMcGinty) highlighted in the article many of the initiatives she and her colleagues are working on to help get radiologists in front of patients. The only challenge in some of the work is redirecting the responsibility to the patient.

At times patients do not know who to task, or when to ask, or even what to ask when it comes to their images, let alone, I want to speak to a radiologist.

I spoke about the same topic myself two weeks ago in a series called: “Part 3: Hospital Need Product Managers-Radiologist” and spoke on my own experiences in moving radiologists “out of the dark, and into the light.”

As we are about to embark on the 100th Anniversary of the Radiological Society of North America Annual Meeting (#RSNA14) in Chicago, IL I have to pause and ask the question,

“What is the biggest accomplishment in 100 years of the Radiological Society of North America?”

I am willing to bet that many people may point towards Wilhelm Roentgen for being credited with the discovery of X-Rays in 1895. (He was the first to study them, but others had observed the phenomena prior to Wilhelm)

Some may point towards William Crookes or John Hittorf. Others may mention the famous physicist Fernando Sanford, the foundation physics professor at Stanford University. Fast forward time and others may mention Thomas Edison and the fluoroscope or John Ambrose Fleming and the vacuum tube.

Some may point directly to other more modern medical devices, such as CT or MRI or PET-CT or Bone Scan or Ultrasound.

All very good answers.

Yet in my humble opinion, I think the greatest accomplishment is currently under way, it is not technology or medical devices, it is people and communication.

Empowering the radiologist to speak directly to patients.

It is simply bringing the radiologist out of the darkness, and into the light.

What do you think is the greatest accomplishment in radiology in the past decade? The past 100 years?

As always, you can feel free to contact me at: CANCERGEEK@GMAIL.COM or follow me on twitter @cancergeek



One response to “Radiology’s Biggest Advancement?

  1. Blurring the lines between radiologists and other clinicians may work if the radiologist is going to get down and really know what is going on with the patient. Will telling a patient that they have a disk herniation (which may or may not be symptomatic) or growth of a tumor be helpful? Maybe, but it takes a lot of time and coordination.

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