As a rite of passage as well as part of the regular work schedules of a radiologist, a resident trainee must take on the role of independent interpretation for exams that come into the hospital at night. I happen to work at a place where attending backup is readily available by phone, but an attending radiologist is not in-house at night. This provides an abundance of learning opportunities.
After finishing one week of radiology night duties as one of two trainees, I’ve begun to think how the progression of the night always seem to follow some pattern, and what that means for a radiologist trainee on call.
First, it’s probably useful to introduce the concept of a pareto-efficient curve. The curve explains the relationship between two desirable but partially mutually exclusive qualities. For example, a radiologist wants to be very fast at interpreting studies. A radiologist also wants to provide very high quality interpretations. Alas, we cannot do both at the maximal capacity. One might imagine the relationship between the two to look like this: