Practising radiology in the 21st Century might as well become a quite different affair than in the two previous centuries.
The ever changing world in which we live in has already heavily been influenced by the world wide web (initially a pure scientific network) for quite a long time. With the more recent technology (smartphones, tablets) finding its way into working environment along with specialized applications ("Apps"), there already have been significant changes in the way radiologist work world wide, and more are very likely to be on their way.
The so far documented changes or changes probably to emerge include the way radiology residents and fellows:
- learn and seek information
- view imaging studies
- communicate imaging findings to clinicians and patients
You yourself and the site you are currently viewing seem no exception to this evolutionary development.
The presently available resources already hold the opportunity to find up-to-date high-quality medical information at a split second and appear to be all but an obstacle for the radiologist's evolving role in medicine.
Where do we stand?
Radiologist already have a critical role
- in multidisciplinary teams
- in choosing appropriate imaging options
- medical education
Where do we go from here?
Examples of evolving roles
- minimally-invasive therapy
- e.g. improving therapy in cancer
- disease monitoring
- replacing traditional practices
- e.g. obviating the need for biopsy
The pivotal role for web-based up-to-date help in decision making and learning facilities seems more than obvious.
Outlook - what is more to come?
A lot! And probably the best of it, it is all up to us to find and define our individual role in this huge field!
Dr Rene Pfleger is a radiology registrar at Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark.
NB: Opinions expressed are those of the author alone, and are not those of his employer, or of Radiopaedia.org.