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A Radiologist’s New Year’s Resolutions

A Radiologist’s New Year’s Resolutions

As we get ready to close the book on this year, many of us are preparing yet another list of our resolutions. The term “making a resolution” is defined as the act of determining a course of action to be followed. Rather than true resolutions, we mostly create lists of things we know we should do but in most cases will never actually get around to executing or completing. Things like losing weight, exercising more and quitting one habit or another usually make the list.

More often than not we would save time by just resurrecting last year’s list from somewhere deep in our hard drive rather than trying to create a new list with the same old items.

We don’t typically think of it in the same way, but we are also closing another year on our lives as radiologists. And, whether or not it is true, it seems that recently each year brings more change than the last.

So, as I looked through my hard drive for last year’s resolutions, I began to wonder what a radiologist’s professional list of resolutions should look like. I put together a list that might act as a prototype:

1. Image gently.

a. Support and develop appropriate imaging utilization algorithms and processes.
b. Change imaging protocols as soon as possible to newer, lower dose protocols.
c. Limit imaging series to what is necessary.
d. Make calls to clinicians to recommend appropriate studies instead of just doing what is ordered.

2. Learn more.

a. Stretch and read more about the areas of radiology that we do not usually spend time on.
b. Do more CMEs.
c. Read blogs by other radiologists and physicians and get more involved in the dialogue and communication that is going on around us.

3. Step up and be heard.

a. Participate at local, state and national levels in the professional as well as the political processes that affect the way we work and serve our patients.
b. Work on some process that means something to us personally or professionally.

4. Join and get involved in organizations that teach us, lead us and make a difference:

a. Radiology Business Manager’s Association (RBMA), American College of Radiology (ACR), the American Osteopathic College of Radiology (AOCR), or any of the host of subspecialty societies.

2012 is likely going to provide more of the same roller coaster ups and downs we experienced in 2011. To keep from getting dizzy, I recommend keeping our eyes fixed on something substantial: continuing to be the best radiologists we can be and provide world leading radiology services to our patients. Putting together your own list of New Year’s resolutions is a good place to start; following through with them will determine our future.

What are your New Year’s resolutions?

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