Selfie radiology

pdf path

“The ‘Selfie Stick’ has to top the list for what best defines narcissism in society today.”

—Alex Morritt

I may step on a few toes here – that’s life. As a prior mentor of mine once said, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.” And anyway, I’m sure we can all agree that NONE of us are the purveyors of this behavior.

I go to meetings and occasionally I have a desire to go and hear a talk that maybe only peripherally relates to what I do, or perhaps, if the mood is right, has NO bearing on what I do. I just like the topic, it sounds cool. Maybe the title of the talk gets my attention, or I have a break with too far to walk to another talk that might mean more to me, or maybe it is being delivered by a friend or an old colleague.

So, I wander into an interventional talk. I don’t remember why. In reward, I am bombarded for the next hour by, “Here’s a case,” and “here’s a case,” and “here’s another case,” ad nauseam and ad infinitum. I hung it out. I learned a few things, other than what interesting designs you can make with a catheter and a guidewire. I did make a small observation, however, that I’d like to share:

Images of all the convolutions that you are able to navigate and maneuver a catheter and guidewire through are the selfies of radiology. They’re the high fives, and don’t leave me hanging, and I think you know what I mean.

This selfie mentality is, as quoted above, not among the high points of modern civilization, in my opinion. It’s the “look at what I can do!” thing; the “look at where I am tonight! or “look at me and my fabulous seat at the concert!” or “look at me standing in line at the ticket counter at LaGuardia!” or even the (I’ve seen this, honestly) “look at me getting a haircut!”

The radiologist’s take on this is, “Look at all the things I can do with a guidewire and catheter!” Or, “look at all the places I can put this!” It’s an interesting and showy way to demonstrate technical proficiency – like I wouldn’t have believed you without the image of the wire going all over the place; surely I wouldn’t have believed a simple description of the feat, or some post-treatment images.

I am going to bring a selfie stick to work for the next few months and take images of myself: opening the PACS viewer, using voice transcription, signing off on reports, getting a cup of coffee, etc. I will spice up my next lecture with them in this tried-and-true fashion. “You won’t BELIEVE where our coffee room is. I have to walk all the way down the hall and turn right, and then left!”


Back To Top

Phillips CD.  Selfie radiology.  Appl Radiol.  2016;45(8):36.

By C. Douglas Phillips, MD, FACR| August 01, 2016

About the Author

C. Douglas Phillips, MD, FACR

C. Douglas Phillips, MD, FACR

Dr. Phillips is a Professor of Radiology, Director of Head and Neck Imaging, at Weill Cornell Medical College, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY. He is a member of the Applied Radiology Editorial Advisory Board.

Copyright © Anderson Publishing 2021