The Master Surgeons

Dr. Pauline Chen as a piece in the NY Times about how the skill of a surgeon makes a huge difference, but has always been difficult to measure.

And yet, by word of mouth, it has always been possible to know of surgeons who are “amazing”, “lightning fast” and “gifted”. The anesthetists, nurses and resident surgeons are in the best possible position to compare and evaluate, along with the surgical ICU doctors. This knowledge obviously rarely gets passed on to patients.

It is the same in radiology. All radiologists are not and can never be the same, which is why radiology cannot be commoditized or “teleradiologized”. And over a period of time, everyone in the community knows who the brilliant ones are, both from a diagnostic as well as an interventional perspective. The patients may never come to know.


  1. Biju Pappachan says:

    Importance of Radiologists are decreasing day by day because now clinicians think that Radiologists are doing a job equivalent to non-doctors (sonologists), technicians etc. Many patients even don’t know that there are doctors called “Radiologists”. Many clinicians are encroaching into radiology practice. The plight of vast majority of Radiologists are pathetic because of the greed of few Top notch Radiologists who are giving widespread training to non-radiologists & non-medicos for personal gain. Even Hospital & Diagnostic centre management also feel that paying referring clinicians unethically is worth more than paying dedicated radiologists. With each passing day, people feel that radiology reports are merely papers given by radiologists, to avail Mediclaim benefits & it has nothing to do with patient management. The association IRIA is also least interested to solve this issue. When it comes to Radiology practice, even MCI is silent, accepting sonologists. Now-a-days a good radiologist will find it tough to start his own practice, because of the unethical expectations of clinicians & lack of awareness of general public about importance of radiology. There is enormous shortage of Radiologists everywhere, but neither Hospitals nor public are prepared to accept them as “Decisive Doctors”. For the Hospital managements, they are just money making robots working on specialized scanners. For the patients, they are people on whom they can express their frustrations or disbelief actually meant for clinicians & treatment costs.

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