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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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, ...

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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 ...

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shutterstock_253534771 Merriam-Webster defines "value" as follows:

  • The amount of money that something is worth: the price or cost of something
  • Something that can be bought for a low or fair price
  • Usefulness or importance
I find this intuitive, really. The value of something is what it is worth. However, is that something worth the same to me as it is to you? And if I give ...

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shutterstock_145545640 Teleradiology has the same effect on radiologists as Lord Voldemort has on Muggles. It’s the feared end point of the commoditization of imaging, with Rajeev in Bangalore outpricing Rajeev in Chicago for reading follow-up CTs for lung nodules. But despite the fears of U.S. radiologists, their counterparts in India have more pressing things on their mind. “U.S. radiologists think that Indian radiologists are ...

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shutterstock_222192721 There’s a simple way to define value. Ask why we exist. Imaging exists because clinicians are uncomfortable with uncertainty. Imaging exists because emergency physicians feel that being 98 percent correct about the absence of pulmonary embolism is not good enough. Radiologists exist because imaging is not an assay on a Western blot with a 100 percent accuracy. Radiologists exist because information is ...

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shutterstock_149926556 Note: This case is meant to illustrate the potential negative effects of inappropriate imaging.  It is not intended as a diatribe towards any member of the health care team.  Really the only “mistake” made here was the ordering of the CT scan in the first place. A 37-year-old woman presents to her local emergency department (ED) with a 4-hour history of heartburn ...

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shutterstock_118491940 I used to be a surgical resident in the U.K. One day, I was a little dispirited during a brutal call, and my senior resident asked, “Do you love surgery?” “I like surgery,” I replied. “If you don’t love surgery, love it unconditionally I mean -- like loving your child -- you will be unhappy.” He warned. I really liked surgery. I like radiology. ...

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