Radiology is like Farming: You need the right tool for the job.

Okay maybe that’s a stretch, but it will make for a good analogy. One thing my father taught me and now I teach my boys is to choose the right tool for the job. You don’t dig a hole with a rake and you can’t cut trees with a broom. To most people those things seem obvious. Now, I’ve simplified the concept greatly, mostly for my benefit, as I am no more a farmer than you are a radiologist. But a radiologist does know about the tools that lie in their workshed.

 

Just as in farming and carpentry, you identify the problem then pick the right tool or combination of tools to hopefully get an answer and reach a solution. On November 8, 1895, Wilhelm Roentgen discovered the X-ray. To this day, it still remains the go to, just like the hammer, being fundamental to the toolbox. X-rays helps us identify fractures and basic soft tissue injuries, like lots of fluid in the joint or metallic debris. Ultrasound excels in evaluating blood vessels and monitoring the development of growing babies. CT scan is the workhorse of every Emergency Room. A radiologist can use CT to look for emergent, life-threatening traumatic injuries from car accidents, acute appendicitis as a source of belly pain, and rapid brain stroke screening. MRI is superior at soft tissue characterization. MRIs are used to look at cartilage, tendons and ligaments holding our joints together, such as knees, shoulders, and hips. MRI can also see the brain and spinal cord in exquisite detail looking for causes to headaches and pinched nerves.

 

Where farming and radiology may differ is in the outcomes. I imagine that the end goal of farming is to produce food. While the end goal in radiology may be to find an answer to the patients complaints, a lot of the time we may not find an answer but can exclude serious conditions, such as cancer, infections, and other disease states. So while our patients may not always get an answer as to why their breast or back hurts, or why they get headaches, we can tell them that they do not have cancer, there is no fracture, and their brain looks normal for their age.

 

So what’s the point to my rambling? I clearly am not a farmer, but I do own four acres and plan on developing a one acre micro farm for family and friends. The point is I don’t know a darn thing about where to start only that I know where I want to end up. I have a question and am in need of a solution. I will be reaching out to all my friends for help, because to me they are the experts. Well, I am the expert in Radiology and I know my tools. Many clinicians in the community have my personal cell phone number and I have theirs. In complicated cases we work together in a collaborative teamwork fashion to analyze your problem to select the right imaging modality in an effort to provide the highest care to you, our patients.

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I am an American Board of Radiology certified Diagnostic Radiologist with a certificate of additional qualification in Neuroradiology. I absolutely love my job. I have learned a tremendous amount about the human body, including its’ expected complications given our extraordinary complexity, and get to use that knowledge to help people. I personally have experienced emotional devastation and loss, which has made me compassionate and empathetic. I really care about people, and I hope I can use this site to help you. I graduated medical school in 2004 from New York Medical College. My wife and I had our first son in NY where we bought our 900 sf two bedroom one bath starter home. I stayed at Westchester Medical Center for radiology residency, where we had our second son. I obtained a neuroradiology fellowship position at Yale New Haven Medical Center commuting about an hour and a half each way for a year while we had our third boy. Upon graduation I was fortunate to return to Westchester Medical Center to work in Neuroradiology, Body Imaging, and Women’s Imaging departments, a rarity in academic medicine. Almost a decade later and I am living in a larger home in Reno working in a private practice community based outpatient radiology group which contracts with a rural hospital in Elko, Nevada. My wife and I now have four boys and gave up on the girl. We also have a male Bernese mountain Dog named Helmut and female Newfoundland named Lucy. Despite all its hardships and tremendous struggles, I have an absolutely amazing life, which is a gift I cherish. It’s down to my philosophy. I am a firm believer in teamwork. So much comes down to communication. When healthcare providers talk to each other one-on-one, the patient care is always improved, every time! We might not find an answer to your problem, but our collective knowledge sure can help improve your chances. At Yale the best conference I ever regularly attended was a head and neck tumor board. The head and neck surgeon (otolaryngologist = ENT) presented the patient’s clinical history, the radiologist showed the images, the oncologist discussed the tumor and chemotherapy options, and the patient came to the conference and we all did a physical exam looking into their mouth to directly visualize a tumor. It was incredible! Patients came from far and wide to see this highly trained, world-renowned, humble, Japanese, gentleman surgeon. It was also an epiphany. I found that when I see the patient, talk to them, listen to their story, examine them and discuss the patient with my colleagues, the patient felt better and I had a lot of fun. It’s weird but reminds me of seeing a comedy where it is always funnier in a packed theater with everyone laughing. Knowledge and compassion are both infectious and contagious. My greatest days are helping patients deal with some of their most difficult days, and I am good at it.

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