Monthly Archives: January 2016

Thinking of Snow

A friend did me a favor yesterday without being asked.  I asked him why.

He said earlier this week his neighbor decided to shovel snow for the entire block. The neighbor dug out everyone’s cars from several feet of deep snow.

The cynical might endorse The Chain of Screaming, but the opposite is equally true.  In the aftermath of the most severe blizzard the northeast has seen in recent years comes a warm act of kindness.

Cynicism and kindness are both contagious.  Which one will you spread?

Know Your Informatics Architect

One of the biggest mistakes you can make in an informatics project is to assume that your Architect is “just a programmer.”

It is easy to fall into a search for “hard” technical skills when looking for technical talent: Do you know SQL?  Are you Microsoft certified?  Can you code a machine learning algorithm in Python?

These are important skills, to be sure.  However, just like radiologists are all different and that clinical knowledge is only one of many facets,  potential gaps in technological capabilities is also important.

The Architect also needs to know the data infrastructure of the organization.  In a large healthcare organization, she also needs a good rapport with the other experts in the organization.

The Architect often knows solutions without knowing that there exists a problem.  More than just the programming and technical hard skills, the Architect can be counted on to mobilize the necessary resources.

Knowing your informatics Architect’s specialization and corresponding limitations can save you months of work.

The Best Time to Be A Radiologist   

Radiology is probably the most exciting field of medicine to be in right now.

Yes – reimbursements are less generous.
Yes – volume is paradoxically increasing, and we are busier than ever.
Yes – you spend most of your time away from patients.

Physicians are inherent scientists. We observe a pattern and draw a line of extrapolation. We do this subconsciously and assign value to these insights. If reimbursement decreased by 10% from last year, in 12 years we will be left with 35% what we started with!  However, we now know drawing lines using historical data requires a nuanced approach.

The best time to get involved in a profession as a young professional is at a time of rapid change. History records only times of conflict, of artistic or cultural debate, of Renaissance, the industrial revolution, and the digital age. Change is the enemy of stability and favors the adaptable. Change gives rise to new ideas and new efforts. Change is why Silicon Valley start-ups rise and fall with the ticking clock but yet remain some of the most exciting careers in today’s America.

It is in the midst of fluctuation, not stability, that we find the most fulfilling career opportunities. Radiology doesn’t guarantee success – your medical training did that for you. Radiology offers an environment to be creative precisely because so much of its future is in the air rather than in stone carvings.

So will you seize the unique opportunity and guide the flow of an entire medical discipline at a time of your life when you are best suited for it? If you have always been fascinated by medical imaging, now is the time to jump in.