You mean I get to talk to people....wow. We have plenty of patient contact and plenty of contact with other physicians (sometimes so much that it's tough to get your work done). It's a good field and if you're interested you should do a rotation with a radiologist to see what they really do, not what you think they do.
I'm interested in Radiology, but I was wondering exactly how one would go about finding someone receptive to shadowing.... Anyone have some suggestions? Anyone want to post their successful experiences? Thanks!
In Rads, you definitely get to do US, and then you do interventional procedures, like Paracentesis, Therapuetic stuff, or even Angio procedures... Unfortunately, most pts are unlikely to really remember or think of their radiologist as part of their medical team.
Which can also be a huge plus. After you come back from your much deserved 1-2 week vacation, a radiologist doesn't have piles and piles of phone messages from his/her patients waiting for them and doesn't the massive backlog of work from being away for awhile. There are pluses and minuses I'll give you that, but for me the pluses are absolutely huge and the minuses are few. Albiet, I wouldn't mind a tad more patient contact at times, but then some days (especially doing my internship year now) I'm dreaming of being alone reading films all day.
If patient contact is what interests you, then you probably wouldn't enjoy radiology. I knew a fellow resident who quit and went to family practice because he couldn't stand it. Even interventional radiologists will have almost no patient contact 50% of the time if they are in private practice because they will be doing things other than reading films. To most radiologists this is not a problem. I rather hated following people for a long period of time.
You can have some patient contact with ultrasound but this is usually brief and it is difficult when you have to read 150-200 films in a day just to keep up. With academic practice it is much easier to get more patient contact. One of my colleagues sees just about every one of our ultrasound patients and scans them himself for 5-10 minutes.
The one thing you do get more than most other specialities is other doctor contact which I really enjoy. Numerous times what you say will have a large determination on the course that the patients treatment will follow. During a busy day I might talk to 10-15 different doctors from 7-8 different specialities and field 5 or so phone calls as well. They value your opinion; especially the family docs, who often ask me "what do you think I should do next?" Your knowledge of all specialities and diseases is valuable in these situations. That is where we can really make a difference and help patients without being directly responsible for them, and that is why many people groove on rads!