In the United States, any person who has tried getting their own (or their patient’s) radiology images from another hospital or practice will find the practice painful. Here are several obvious reasons why the CD-ROM — briefly the darling of large data transfer — is a truly terrible way to share radiology images in 2018: They require physical transfer. Remember the term “snail mail”? Do people still say that? They are slow. When you bring a ...

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Sometimes things go just the way you want them to, and sometimes they don't. Compare and contrast the case of two different patients, and how things went trying to get them the care they needed. The first patient, let's call him Mr. Smith, called up one day last week with a brand-new symptom, which after a phone call was ultimately determined to be disturbing enough that he was offered a same-day appointment. After ...

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As a radiologist, I interpret thousands of imaging studies every year. Of the millions of medical images that have crossed my screen, they all have one thing in common. They were all acquired by a technologist in the radiology department. Imaging technologists perform a vital role in medicine. All have specialized training that is unique and critical to patient care. Truth be told, many of them have a greater knowledge base ...

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Doctors know high-pressure exams. The day before one is the worst. There is cramming followed by anxiety and insomnia. When sleep finally beats anxiety, the dreaded nightmare falls upon anxious test takers. Every doctor knows. Walking into the testing center, opening the exam, realizing you studied for the wrong exam. The questions might as well be a foreign language. This nightmare was a reality according to this year’s group of ...

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Computed tomography, or CT scanning, is one of the most powerful diagnostic tools to emerge during my medical career. Just look at the detail in the brain images above, taken at 90-degree angles through the brain. And I was there at the beginning. I remember well when I was a medical student taking neurology, and the first CT scanner arrived at the Mayo Clinic. By today’s standards, it was incredibly ...

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As I sat in a frozen yogurt store a couple of years back, I watched as two young men pulled up in an expensive vehicle. They were wearing athletic attire from a private faith-affiliated university in the neighborhood. Both grabbed sample cups and cup-by-cup consumed about ten dollars-worth of yogurt each before jestfully yelling “Gracias” to the Latin store employee and walking out the door without paying for anything. Then ...

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“I give up! I can’t help these people.” Emily was completing the final month of her emergency medicine residency and flopped into her chair with exasperation. “What’s up?” I asked. We were on the final two hours of our shift together. And I, as her attending, was already feeling apprehensive about the patient encounter that awaited me. “They want so much from me, and I can’t fix them!” She began to tell ...

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Let’s begin with a quiz question: Patients may be allergic to: A. oxygen B. carbon C. iodine D. none of the above If you answered anything but "D," better keep reading. Consider this scenario: If a patient is allergic to penicillin, you would document “penicillin” in the medical records. It would never occur to you to list “antibiotics” as an allergy, and you certainly would not call it a “carbon” allergy for slang, just because penicillin contains ...

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Today is a strange day. I treated myself to a slice of nondescript doughy hospital pizza for lunch today. If this was an actual pizza place, and I had a choice, I would never order this pizza. But today, the pizza tasted fantastic. In fact, it tasted like the best pizza I’ve ever had. Why you ask? Because this would likely be the last time I’d ever eat this hospital pizza. I enjoyed ...

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Having worked at both community hospitals and major medical centers, the issue of ultrasound in pregnancy has revealed itself to be more complex over the years. As a resident, I worked with an obstetrics office that only scanned their own patients who had private insurance and would send uninsured or Medicaid patients (often with a high risk of inadequate prenatal care) to the hospital late in the day to be ...

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