• Set Yourself Up For Success Webinar

    October 6, 2021 at 2 PM Eastern/11 AM Pacific
    SDN and Osmosis are teaming up to help you get set up for success this school year! We'll be covering study tips, healthy habits, and meeting mentors.

    Register Now!

  • Funniest Story on the Job Contest Starts Now!

    Contest starts now and ends September 27th. Winner will receive a special user banner and $10 Amazon Gift card!

    JOIN NOW
  • Site Updates Coming Next Week

    Site updates are coming next week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Click the button below to learn more!

    LEARN MORE

Laptop advice for radiology residency

The Bark Side

New Member
Oct 24, 2018
5
0
1
Hi all,

I'm hoping for some input on good laptop options for a radiology resident. I'm starting up my residency (veterinary) next month and my current laptop just decided to up and kick the bucket. A bummer, but the timing is a little serendipitous because now I can replace it with one that might be better suited for diagnostic imaging. I know there have been a number of posts about this in the past, but I figured I'd start a new one in case there have been any big advances or better models in the past few years.

I guess my main big questions are:

1) Windows vs Mac: I've used Windows my whole life and feel far more comfortable with it, but I know that a lot of radiologists prefer Macs and that OsiriX is supposed to be amazing. Our hospital mainly uses NilRead and occasionally eFilm, but since I'm hoping to get a laptop that would last me at least a few years past residency, are the pros of Macs and OsirX worth switching things up and learning a new operating system?

2) Cost effective options: I want to invest in a solid laptop, but I'm also living on $26k as an intern and then $30k as a resident, so I don't know that I can justify going for the state-of-the-art, highest end model. What are your thoughts on best bang for your buck options? Is there a pretty big step up in display and resolution at higher cost tiers that definitely make it worth putting in the money?

3) Thoughts on solid laptop vs mediocre laptop and desktop setup: What are your thoughts regarding getting a good laptop with solid processing power and display vs a laptop with mediocre display and a good monitor? Or having a good desktop at home and just remotely accessing it from your crappy laptop as needed when you're at work?

As to what I would need out of it, the biggest factor is being able to review images from home while on call. This would mainly just be radiographs because for US/CT/MR we have to go in and operate the machine, so I would probably just review it on the workstation at the hospital. I'll still want to be able to review cross-sectional imaging at home, but it's not as critical. Otherwise, I'd be using it for reading papers/textbooks, viewing notes, writing papers, and doing all the usual personal computer stuff. It also has to be portable, since I'll need it for rounds and journal club etc., so just going the desktop only route with cloud storage to access from the workstation unfortunately isn't an option.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read all of this. I really appreciate any input that you have to offer!
 

Cognovi

Knowledge worker
5+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2016
691
751
166
bit.ly
  1. Fellow [Any Field]
There's a difference between interpreting in diagnostic conditions at full speed versus casually giving a preliminary interpretation on a few studies. It sounds like what you'll be doing is the latter, which has lax requirements depending on your comfort/judgment, but I'll address the considerations for the former in case any residents are interested in reading at home due to COVID.
  • Windows vs. Mac: PowerMic (handheld microphone that integrates with Nuance/Dragon software) only works on Windows. Horos (free PACS) only works on Mac. Horos is neat if you want to maintain your own teaching file of exported DICOMs, but most people don't. PowerMic is useful for dictating from home, but you can make some workarounds (keyboard hotkey scripts, standalone microphones) or type. PCs are cheaper than Macs at a given level of hardware performance.
  • Graphics: Radiology does not require as much graphics processing power as the latest games; integrated graphics is fine. However, you may find it useful to have a machine that has two video outputs so that you can drive two external monitors, because screen real estate is important for productivity. My laptop has a USB-C/DP 1.2 port (off the integrated graphics system) and an HDMI 2.0 port (off a discrete graphics card, but some laptops run both ports off integrated graphics), both of which can drive 4K displays at 60Hz.
  • External display: A diagnostic display for radiographs is supposed to have luminance at least 350 cd/m^2, 3 megapixels, diagonal size 80% of the distance of your face from the screen, and pixel pitch <0.21 mm. Cross-sectional imaging has lower requirements because of the lower matrix size. At this size and resolution you can display two radiographs (eg, current and prior) on a 16:9 4K monitor that measures 28-32 inches. Unfortunately the majority of consumer grade monitors don't get that bright (typically max luminance in the range 250-300 cd/m2) so you have to specifically search for the ones that are 350 or 400 cd/m2.
  • Internet: Cross-sectional studies can be large, on the order of hundreds of megabytes, so you will experience lag trying to stream these over a slow internet connection. A plan that is at least 100 Mbps is preferred. Make sure your router and wifi card run at least 802.11ac to support these speeds; otherwise use a wired connection.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
About the Ads

The Bark Side

New Member
Oct 24, 2018
5
0
1
There's a difference between interpreting in diagnostic conditions at full speed versus casually giving a preliminary interpretation on a few studies. It sounds like what you'll be doing is the latter, which has lax requirements depending on your comfort/judgment, but I'll address the considerations for the former in case any residents are interested in reading at home due to COVID.
  • Windows vs. Mac: PowerMic (handheld microphone that integrates with Nuance/Dragon software) only works on Windows. Horos (free PACS) only works on Mac. Horos is neat if you want to maintain your own teaching file of exported DICOMs, but most people don't. PowerMic is useful for dictating from home, but you can make some workarounds (keyboard hotkey scripts, standalone microphones) or type. PCs are cheaper than Macs at a given level of hardware performance.
  • Graphics: Radiology does not require as much graphics processing power as the latest games; integrated graphics is fine. However, you may find it useful to have a machine that has two video outputs so that you can drive two external monitors, because screen real estate is important for productivity. My laptop has a USB-C/DP 1.2 port (off the integrated graphics system) and an HDMI 2.0 port (off a discrete graphics card, but some laptops run both ports off integrated graphics), both of which can drive 4K displays at 60Hz.
  • External display: A diagnostic display for radiographs is supposed to have luminance at least 350 cd/m^2, 3 megapixels, diagonal size 80% of the distance of your face from the screen, and pixel pitch <0.21 mm. Cross-sectional imaging has lower requirements because of the lower matrix size. At this size and resolution you can display two radiographs (eg, current and prior) on a 16:9 4K monitor that measures 28-32 inches. Unfortunately the majority of consumer grade monitors don't get that bright (typically max luminance in the range 250-300 cd/m2) so you have to specifically search for the ones that are 350 or 400 cd/m2.
  • Internet: Cross-sectional studies can be large, on the order of hundreds of megabytes, so you will experience lag trying to stream these over a slow internet connection. A plan that is at least 100 Mbps is preferred. Make sure your router and wifi card run at least 802.11ac to support these speeds; otherwise use a wired connection.

Thank you so much for all the info!!
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 1 year old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.