The Juniors are Revolting
Radiological Heterodoxy
by
2w ago
The UK’s Society of Radiologists in Training (SRT) has just published the highlights of it’s 2024 training survey. It landed on social media as an infographic and made quite the splash. Although it only featured the preliminary results, it makes for ugly reading. Many are withholding official comment until the full data is released. Plus the results should be viewed with caution as the 202 radiologists in training that were surveyed represent just ~15% of the UK’s total. Notably, 1/3rd of these trainees were from the North of England and a further 1/3rd were from London and the South East. I ..read more
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A Day in My Life
Radiological Heterodoxy
by
1y ago
My day begins slowly. The alarm is set to a gentle piano-based theme to coax me out of my twitching stage IV REM. With a 25hr body clock, I am ill-suited to early mornings. Well, mornings full stop, really. A lark I am not. My first act is to grunt morning greetings to family members. They aren’t morning people either, their greetings similarly guttural. I then scratch the cat and feed him as otherwise he’d mither endlessly until fed and scratched. A double espresso kickstarts my brain before I slinging some black pudding around the pan with a few mushrooms. I find a pork-based breakfast a ba ..read more
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Living in Interesting Times
Radiological Heterodoxy
by
2y ago
There is a common myth of an old Chinese curse that runs, “may you live in interesting times”’. Although it isn’t old or Chinese, it seems apt to describe the last few years. I can barely remember the simpler and more care-free times before 2020. All the things we took for granted, all the things we missed so much in various lockdowns are slowly returning. Many of us had never seen viral pneumonitis back then. Many of us never want to see it again. The covid pandemic is by no means over and it may never truly disappear but there have been many curious changes of the last two years. In the ear ..read more
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"We are not in the business of exclusion"
Radiological Heterodoxy
by
3y ago
An "exclusiometer"? Although Professor Sir Howard Middlemiss died nearly 30 years ago, his memory lives on. A radiological giant of his time, I once heard a quote attributed to him that further elevated him in my mind. It was said that he wanted a sign put up in the reception area of the radiology department of the Bristol Royal Infirmary that said, “We are not in the business of exclusion”. This adage could equally be a rallying cry for twenty-first century radiologists. Particularly if you have high clinical standards and loathe sloppiness of medical thought, word and deed. Specifi ..read more
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Therapeutic Investigation
Radiological Heterodoxy
by
3y ago
The great thing about a career in medicine is that everyone can find a niche. An old medical friend said radiology was definitely the best choice for me; locked in a dark room. Such was the cliché about radiology; a boffinish speciality for introverts who were bright enough but best kept away from patients. Imagine my surprise on day one of radiology school when most of the consultants were affable and ebullient. When I was a young(er) radiologist, this ‘talking to patients’ notion was seen as a luxury extra. The implication was that we weren’t there for that kind of thing. Radiology was a te ..read more
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Threshold Concepts and the Ha-Ha Effect
Radiological Heterodoxy
by
3y ago
We’ve all been to disappointing lectures by noted experts. The reasons vary but a mild anticlimax is commonplace. Perhaps your medical hero has an unexpectedly reedy voice and bad teeth. Or they come across a bit weird: nasty-and-sinister weird, not pleasant-yet-eccentric weird. It has been said that a professor is like an undescended testicle: difficult to find but when you do then they are often malignant. Nevertheless, keynote speakers consistently pull in the crowds, flocking to gather the pearls of wisdom that drip from their cherry lips. However, what often follows is anaesthetic induct ..read more
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Reflection on Reflection
Radiological Heterodoxy
by
3y ago
Our dear Royal College has decided to formalise, nay, mandate reflective practice from every Fellow. It is now embedded into ongoing professional development. This news may have completely passed you by, but this is official as of 1st Jan 2011. We are now required to provide evidence of reflective learning. More specifically, this is required by the RCR for “online CPD activities (and all Category II CPD activities)”. We are not alone, the RCR is one in a long line of UK Royal Colleges who have introduced such a system. Some will have read this and made a PFFFFFFFTT noise as they involuntaril ..read more
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MDTs and the Bourgeois
Radiological Heterodoxy
by
3y ago
Site-specific cancer multidisciplinary team meetings (MDTs) are a prominent feature of the working lives of all Fellows of the RCR, radiologists and oncologists alike. We attend them dutifully yet we rarely question anything about them. OK, we moan like hell when they don’t run smoothly but that is about it. I contend there are aspects of MDTs that are strikingly unusual. First is the love: hate feelings that MDTs engender. On one hand, few relish them. They are tolerated at best, made passable by decent colleagues. Part of this is their reputation as a time-occupying lesion; the preparation ..read more
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On Being Ordered
Radiological Heterodoxy
by
3y ago
My trust is about to introduce a new Hospital Information System. Being an earnest sort, I accepted an invitation to go along to a 2 hour briefing session specifically aimed at consultants. The audience were uncharacteristically lively; both of us asked a number of questions. The system looks very good and will undoubtedly be huge improvement. I’m not saying our existing PAS system is old but the Science Museum have said it is of historical significance and could they please have it when we’ve finished with it. One aspect of this briefing did stick in the craw a little. It isn’t overtly pedan ..read more
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Troubling Times
Radiological Heterodoxy
by
3y ago
We all want to be able to quickly and accurately predict troublesome patients. By this, I mean that with a mere glance you just know that a patient is either moments from death or, alternatively, that they are about to steal your mobile phone. The Fellows of the RCR are neither effete or squeamish but they do come to enjoy vaguely compliant and, well, alive patients. Few revel in the undignified business of resuscitating those who have impolitely attempted to die in the department. At any rate, it is an Official Good Thing to spot trouble early nowadays. We are exhorted to call in the cavalry ..read more
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