Saturday, January 14, 2012

This doesn't make me feel comfy

Who are the radiologists we never see? They are the mysterious, hidden doctors who read our x-rays, MRIs, CT, PET, and all sorts of other images of our body parts. They make these nice little observations 'a verycomplicatedjargonfilled thingy' and then give a recommendation of further imaging, biopsy, or some other fun filled medical adventure. They are the unseen doctors who greatly contribute to the big medical decisions in our lives.

They must have gone to medical school and gotten lots of training to be able to read and interpret all these images. I am sure they do all sorts of other things as well as a result of their training.

But what if they cheated on their exams to get their degrees and certifications? How would you feel? Well it turns out that many of them may have according to a recent CNN article. What has been going on is that radiology residents have signed an agreement not to share the tests before taking them but then after the tests they write down all the questions and answers they can remember. These are shared with other residents who memorize them. Approximately 1/2 the questions remain the same each year. Some people call this cheating, some people don't.Some people claim this method is necessary because of the obscure topics in the test. As a result of all this, the tests and their format will be changed starting this year so all those residents who memorized last year's information are SOL.

I am not getting into the definition of cheating. I do have a concern that we trust our bodies with people who we assume know what they are doing. Memorizing test questions and answers doesn't mean they know anything other than how to memorize. Too bad I have to trust them with my medical decisions.

1 comment:

WhiteStone said...

The radiologist who drives to our small town hospital to read scans done in the visiting mobile truck writes an extensive and complete report. He even once sat down with me with my scan up on the monitors, explaining each area.

On the other hand, the fellow who reads the scans at the cancer center up the road are brief almost-one-liners.

Big difference in radiologists (and in their reports).