Wet Read: Oooh, that’s going to leave a mark

By C. Douglas Phillips, MD, FACR
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Dr. Phillips is a staff Neuroradiologist, Department of Radiology, Weill-Cornell Medical College/New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY. He is also a member of the editorial board of this journal.

As this is written, we are well into the football playoff season, and after watching the Yankees win the Series (Woo HOO!), I was thinking about some similarities (and differences) between pro sports and our specialty.

There is something magical about watching a shortstop charge a rocket of a ground ball, time the bounce, sweep it up effortlessly, and, in step, fire it to first for the out. At least, I think so. But, when they miss…my favorite response is to watch them look incredulously at their glove. Obviously, it’s the glove’s fault. Okay, the radiology corollary. You miss a subtle finding. If you wear glasses, easy. Take them off, look at them in disgust, and throw them to the ground. Damn it! Glasses let me down. Contacts, the same. If you’ve had Lasik, curse the surgeon. You folks with perfect vision will have to come up with something else.

Home runs. Thwack of the bat, everyone KNOWS that one is gone. The pitcher looks at the ground. The batter takes a few steps to first, watches it into the cheap seats, and then celebrates, joyfully rounding the bases, skipping into home. Yep, a radiology parallel. You make a GREAT call, you’re allowed to whoop (loudly), jump up out of your chair, push it to the back wall, and raise both arms over your head. Circle the PACS station, finish stylishly at the water cooler or coffee pot, splash yourself over the head. You’re also allowed a half hour to bask in the glory. Only after EXCEPTIONAL calls, are you allowed to step into the hall and bow to the technologists, who will think you’ve lost your mind. Same as the post-touchdown celebration, except you won’t get fined.

Sacking the quarterback. Some massive human shot out of a cannon, blazes past a lineman, and catches a poor (not poor, okay), unsuspecting man looking the other way, hitting him so hard he loses a few teeth. This is followed by the person jumping up, and performing a wild celebratory dance. Carefully, though, within the limits of not being penalized. Okay, we’ll all like this one. Someone comes into your reading room, asks for a ridiculous study/procedure/task. They look the other way, and YOU come screaming out of your chair, catch them with a shoulder, and drive them to the floor. Wild celebration in the reading room!!! Uproar!! Maybe the cart has to come in and wheel them out. THAT won’t be asked again… Okay, okay. So, that might not happen.

The final thing is that little congratulatory pat on the butt. Good call, dude. Way to crank through that stack of CTs. Hmmm…I’m thinking that might not pass our PC clearance. We’ll talk later.

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Wet Read: Oooh, that’s going to leave a mark.  Appl Radiol. 

February 08, 2010

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