The largest daily newspaper in Nevada has done radiology a kindness. On a Sunday in late March, the Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday circ: 200,000-plus), ran a feature article titled “Radiologists play a key role in modern medicine.”
The 1,100-word piece is as unfailingly positive as one might expect under a headline like that.
Review-Journal reporter Lisa Bell quotes Randal Shelin, MD, president of Desert Radiologists, a large independent practice based in Las Vegas, rebutting the notion that radiologists are disconnected from patients.
“Nothing is further from the truth. We have great impact,” Shelin says in the article. “The patient says where the pain is. We look and identify the problem. If I do my job well, because of us, their doctor can make a correct and complete diagnosis.”
Dean Berthoty, MD, a radiologist contracted with HCA Healthcare, adds: “We are more like linemen than quarterbacks or linebackers. We provide an essential role in doing what’s best for a patient. Referring doctors are very dependent on us [and] we are the ER behind the emergency room.”
And David Steinberg, MD, founder of Steinberg Diagnostic in Vegas, credits his profession with taking the mystery out of pain by labeling it. “It’s terribly relieving,” he says. “When you label something, [patients] lose the fear of the unknown. The radiologist defines the mystery whether it’s cancer or nothing found. It’s exciting and fun.”
The article concludes by helpfully pointing out that radiology isn’t attracting as many bright young residents as it once did.
“Maybe the radiology profession could improve the public’s understanding of its contributions by sponsoring development of Radiology: Las Vegas as a spinoff of television’s popular CSI Las Vegas franchise,” writes reporter Bell. “It couldn’t hurt.”