Computed tomography (CT) is a powerful diagnostic tool that allows rapid diagnosis of disease.  CT is widely available in the U.S. and is a mainstay of medical diagnosis.  Estimates state that 85 million CT scans were performed in the U.S. in 2012.  To create images, CT scanners pass ionizing radiation (x-rays) through the body thereby exposing patients to radiation.  Patients who are imaged with CT have a theoretical ...

Read more...

I enjoyed Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot. Not only did the ingenious Belgian solve the murder so artfully. But someone identifiable is killed, and someone identifiable is the killer. Epidemiological studies are whodunits, too. Except you don’t know who has been killed, what the murder weapon is, or who the killer is. You only know that a murder may have happened. A study found a higher incidence of breast cancer with ...

Read more...

When I was an intern in medicine, I couldn’t wait to start my role as a radiology resident. Even though I cared for my patients to the best of my ability and studied their diseases, I knew that my time in the department was limited. I wish I could say that I put my whole heart into my work, but with all of the extraneous demands of intern year -- ...

Read more...

Perhaps the greatest flaw in medical training is our blatant avoidance of any education related to the business of medicine. Primarily focused on treating illness, trainees often don't want to hear about how they are going to be compensated in the future, and medical school administrators fear that such training would further decrease interest in specialties that reimburse at a lower rate per unit time. Some doctors get 10s and ...

Read more...

In times of shortage, we find out what we value most. And in these times of relative penury in the job market for radiologists, it appears that employers value -- above and beyond anything else -- the general radiologist. Yes, the general radiologist. The radiologist who is able and willing in one shift to perform a barium enema, follow the intricate anatomy of the inner ear on an MRI of the ...

Read more...

The big story recently is that the American Cancer Society issued an updated guideline recommending that women undergo mammography less frequently than before. This announcement was denounced on both “sides” of the perennial debate. Those in the “mammograms save lives” camp are outraged that a scientific society dedicated to cancer prevention and treatment would issue a proclamation that seems to run counter to the notion that “early detection saves lives.” Those in ...

Read more...

The Lown Institute advocates rational use of medical resources. This is a noble goal and worthy of the attention of radiologists. It was recently RightCare Action Week: Here are five simple things any radiologist can do that week, and the following weeks. This will improve patient care by avoiding unnecessary tests. 1. Speak to the referring clinician, at least sometimes, if not often, perhaps twice a day. The conversation need ...

Read more...

IBM_Watson Arthur C. Clark and Stanley Kubrick predicted supercomputers more intelligent than humans.  In 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL states, with typical human immodesty, “The 9000 series is the most reliable computer ever made … We are all, by any practical definition of the words, foolproof and incapable of error.” Forty years later, IBM’s Watson pummeled humans in Jeopardy - a distinctly human ...

Read more...

shutterstock_256008637 I had spent medical school and the better part of my adult life in another state by the time I matched into a medical internship back home. Such an opportunity allowed me the opportunity to enjoy a more familiar setting complete with the more bucolic and relaxing lifestyle I had missed for so long. Though not quite in my rural hometown, ...

Read more...

shutterstock_210047401 In 1735, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Now 280 years later, this basic concept of human health has been refined and applied throughout medicine. Recently, the emphasis on prevention has been amplified by the passage of the Affordable Care Act that prioritizes such services. Radiology remains uniquely poised for this change with its ...

Read more...

25 Pages

Most Popular