Wet Read: Organized radiology

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I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member.”
—Groucho Marx

I have been a “joiner” all of my life. I think that likely I was afraid I was going to be the last one picked for everything (remember Dodge ball?), and subsequently overcompensated by joining lots of things. In my mind, people then had to pick me. Somehow, in my addled brain, I thought that being a member of your little group meant that I was going to not only get picked, but picked early. As it happens, that turns out to be incorrect. I’d like to rant just a little about organizations.

I have joined quite a few. And paid dues. And that, my friends, is pain. You can’t be a member without dropping a few bucks in the kitty. Actually, more than a few. LOTS. How about a big “amen” from all the AMA members in the house? The more societies you feel you need to be a part of, the more cash it’ll cost you. I’m giving up. I am starting to drop organizations from my “charitable donation” list. I can’t afford this crap. Several societies get my vote as a persistent outlay of cash, but just a few. One I will share with you and I’ll tell you why: the ACR. Why? They know that I do this for a living. I’d hate to get into Thunderdome with some of their “money” folks. “Two men enter, one man leaves…” They are serious.

I’m wondering how many of you have received word about this latest of the ventures into “changing your practice,” namely Imaging 3.0. I will likely have a few words about this over the next few months. I guess somehow I missed Imaging 2.0. I assume I finished my residency and fellowship sometime at the end of Imaging 1.0. As I look at this in retrospect, I think Imaging 1.0 boiled down to “Radiologist does everything, gets paid for everything.” Imaging 2.0 was some kind of smooth transition into “Radiologist does a few new things, a few less old things, some other people took some of his toys away and are playing with them, and radiologist gets paid less for everything.”

OK, so what’s 3.0? You cynical folks out there have run way ahead of me – it’s “Radiologist does lots of things night and day and gets paid nothing. Everyone else gets the radiologist’s money.” Jeez, hope that isn’t the final line. As I understand it, we are supposed to be more involved in the choice of imaging tests, appropriateness, and how to be efficient with resources. It’s about the value. I’m all for that. I have ranted for years about doing nonsensical tests. I am still, however, working hard to believe that we can get paid for doing less. That’s a tall order. We shall see how it all fleshes out. But, I honestly feel like these folks have got my back.

Keep doing that good thing. You are valuable. I hope your year was phenomenal, and here’s to the next one.


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Wet Read: Organized radiology.  Appl Radiol. 

By C. Douglas Phillips, MD, FACR| December 17, 2014

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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