Radiating Hope: Radiology Department Blog


The Facts of (Radiology) Life

The Facts of (Radiology) Life
  1. The Reading Room is dimly lit. Since our radiologists are looking on images on the computer, the background light can make it harder to see. Think about when you are watching a movie in a movie theater. You can see the picture much better when the lights are turned down.
  2. Our Radiology Department is completely digital. This means when the techs take pictures, they upload them onto a computer and send it directly to the radiologist work station. There are some hospitals that still print the images out on film, but it is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Digital is much faster.
  3. Speaking of fast, our typical turn-around time, the time it takes for us to take the pictures, read them, and have the results available for the ordering physician, is approximately 1 hour. X-ray results are typically available in 30 minutes or less.
  4. On a normal weekday, our radiologists read somewhere between 700 and 800 studies, EVERY DAY. Wow, part of the reason our department can be so fast and get so much work done is due to our computer program that types what the radiologist says. Each workstation is equipped with a microphone with voice recognition software so when the radiologist speaks into the microphone, the computer types what he or she says. Since they don’t have to type the report themselves, or record their dictation and have it typed by a transcriptionist, each radiologist is able to read many more studies in a day. It all adds up to better care and shorter wait times for our patients.
  5. Our radiologists publish more than 100 research articles every year and a few have even written textbooks! Our doctors are so smart and spend a lot of time on researching different areas. For example, our thoracoabdominal (trunk) doctors specialize in the organs in the chest and abdominal cavity. They do research on fatty liver disease, cystic fibrosis, obesity, appendicitis, Crohn’s disease and much more. Our musculoskeletal doctors specialize in bones and joints, so they do research on conditions like juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, bone tumors, and osteochondritis dissecans, among others. Our neuroradiology doctors focus on issues of the brain. They research brain tumors like DIPG, gliomas, lymphomas, meningiomas, and more, so we can eventually cure them. We even have a fetal area of specialty that researches issues in the womb, such as twin-to-twin transfusion, or fetal development issues with the heart and brain.

Children are our focus and our radiologists work tirelessly to help each and every child that comes through our doors and even those that can’t. There are some people who are content to wait until someone else finds the answers for the unknown causes and effects and treatments, and then there are our radiologists who work every day to find those answers for themselves and everyone else. I am so lucky to be surrounded by so many amazing people every day.

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About the author: Alex Towbin

Alex is a radiologist and the Neil D. Johnson Chair of Radiology Informatics. In this role, he helps to manage the information systems used by the Radiology department. Clinically, Alex is the Assistant Director of thoracoabdominal imaging. His research interests include liver disease, liver tumors, inflammatory bowel disease, and appendicitis.