Insights July 2011

Will Radiologists Become Redundant Ever?

Sumer Sethi

Will Radiologists Become Redundant Ever? By Sumer Sethi
This is a brief conversation I had with a cardiologist friend on FaceBook who was quite sure that radiologists will become extinct one day and imaging should be done by respective departments themselves. Read on and post your comments. Reason for my sharing this debate here, spark off a larger debate towards need for sub-specialization in radiology else people will consider us replaceable. Let’s learn from this talk see that we can earn respect as specialists when we tell them more than they know already.
Cardiologist Friend: People in every specialty should take over their respective Radiology. Like cardiologists have done. Cardiac Radiology and interventions are our domain. If radiologist does echo cardiogram, we just won't accept, that's it. Same way, why not these Neurologists, Gastros, Gynaes take over their radiology? How about that?
Me: I work in specialty neurology-orthopedic centre and I have seen even the best specialists have limitation in interpretation of MRIs so let’s keep all diagnostic imaging to us radiologists possibly in future we might just think of sonographers as trained technicians who will do the manual work of scanning as is done world over, leave the highly skilled radiologist for interpretation.
Cardiologist Friend: I am sure neurologists can read neuro images well. Some of my neurology friends have taken up neuro radiology and interventions. I have helped some in carotid interventions too.
Me: Think of it as time spent in learning radiology versus time spent in learning neurology you cannot do both.
Cardiologist Friend: When you learn anatomy, physiology and pathology of neurology better, image is just a part of it. Neurologists read EEG, Nerve conduction etc. They are best suited than some sonographer doing it. For neurologists , it is just a clinical correlation. Let general surgeons, gastro surgeons and Gastro enterologists do USG. Further we don't allow radiologists do echo or coronary angio at all. Cardiac cath lab is out of bounds for them. We even named cardiac ultra sound differently- Echo cardiography.
Cardiologist Friend: If every specialty takes up their imaging, radiologists will become redundant, in medicine! That's sad! From tomorrow, my radiologist won't offer me tea!
Me: It was a belief years back that radiologists will become redundant, but sadly there will never be a day that radiologists will go out of work, why don’t you suggest that surgeons should see histopath as well?? :). I work in Neuro hospital and I review all their cases at request and trust me, need is not for neurologists to read cases, but need is for radiologists to sub-specialize and provide quality reads.
Cardiologist Friend: A cooperative work is always better, I think. We co report our CT coronary .
Me: Reason is lack of expertise, not vice versa. i know a lot of cardiologists who are at loss when they see cross sections instead of routine coronary images.
Cardiologist Friend: I know some "Giants" who can't distinguish LAD from Lcx in CT.
Me: )) This happens as coronary CT is relatively new modality, i know of cardiologists who miss lung metastasis incidentally picked up on cardiac CT
Cardiologist Friend: They need to sit with radiologists to learn, if they are interested.
Me: Same as we sit with cardiologists but that doesn’t make us replaceable... :)
See the original blog here: Sumer's Radiology | Site: Will Radiologists Become Redundant Ever?
(Editor’s note: this is a direct copy from this blog written by Sumer Sethi. We fixed a few minor items typically found in blogs (like spacing and capitalization) but nothing else.


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