Wet Read: Is he going to talk about the old days again?

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“Nothing is more responsible for the good old days than a bad memory.”

—Franklin Pierce Adams

An image came across the net the other day for a hospital system (not MINE, another one). One of those ads intended to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about getting sick and going there. You know the kind: All the doctors look like models, the nurses wear those angular hats, the stethoscopes are just slightly askew to look very cool and, in this case, the VIEWBOXES ARE STREWN WITH FILMS.

Huh? What? They can’t afford a PACS? Do I really want to get sick and go there? Do they even have a pneumoencephalogram chair?

Okay, it got me to thinking. Reminiscing. Contemplating “the good old days.” Remember those? Yeah, well, the good old days weren’t so good. In fact, they could occasionally really suck. I will give you several anecdotes. Feel free to chime in and post your own most favorite remembrances in the comment section below.

No.1. Tumor board. Here’s the set up: You’re sitting there minding your own business, you’ve reviewed all the studies and pulled the pertinent films to the front of the jacket. You’ll put them back in the appropriate folders later. Someone hustles into the conference room and you’re distracted from looking at them because the surgeon says, “Just had a walk in to the clinic and we’re adding them on to the list.” They present the patient, and as the attending is finishing, a resident walks up to you and THROWS A MASSIVE FILM JACKET DOWN ON YOUR DESK. Holy @#%&!!! Nothing is in order. You know this isn’t going to be smooth. Too bad PACS isn’t going to be around for five more years.

No. 2. You’re the “injection” resident. Remember being on body CT or neuro CT and being the designated junior (the first-year task of choice) resident who had to inject contrast? Remember that oily, viscous, sticky stuff? You had to push it in a pretty good-sized IV or you would wear your palms out. And, best of all, EVERY patient booted on your shoes. Yes, they forgot all about the NPO stuff, ate some eggs and bacon that morning. Oops, there it goes. Sorry.

You could always determine who was the junior radiology resident. They wore the worst of all shoes. Who wanted good footwear when you were always busy wiping vomit off them? I got injected with contrast for an IVP when I was younger, and I can still, to this day, remember throwing up so hard I was worried my eyeballs might not stay in the sockets. I think the reason we got new and better contrast was because the injections shifted to nursing staff and they wouldn’t stand for it.

I am looking forward to reading some other recollections of the “good old days.” To all of you, the very best of the holidays, and have a great New Year.

And keep doing that good work.


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Phillips CD.  Wet Read: Is he going to talk about the old days again?.  Appl Radiol.  2017;46(12):38.

By C. Douglas Phillips, MD, FACR| December 07, 2017
Categories:  Section

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.

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