Raymond E. Bozman, MD, FACR
It was the summer of 1978 and the rising second-year medical student was beginning an elective rotation in radiology at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md.
After being introduced to Captain Dick Dobbins, MD, his proctor for the rotation, the medical student was asked a simple question: “Son, is radiology your intended career choice?” The general surgeon/pediatrician/emergency physician wannabe replied that it was not. Undeterred, Dr. Dobbins remarked that he would turn on the light for me and hoped the student would choose to follow it. You've probably realized by now that student was me.
The next six weeks were filled with thousands of radiographic interpretations, an equal number of cases from Dr. Dobbins’ comprehensive teaching collection, and a daily reminder of why radiology was simply the best specialty in medicine. If you cherish patient contact, Dr. Dobbins reminded me, many radiology subspecialties — including ultrasound, mammography, interventional, and pediatrics — give you all you could want. For example, if you like technology and constant change, radiology has sophisticated equipment that is upgraded continually and replaced by even more advanced imaging technology.
Although he had a storied 45-year Navy career including service as a hospital corpsman and the first medical officer on the Navy’s first nuclear submarine, Dr. Dobbins was most proud of the hundreds of medical students and interns he inspired and recruited for a career in radiology. I consider myself fortunate to be among them.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or the United States Government.
Raymond E. Bozman, MD, FACR, Captain, Medical Corps, US Navy (Retired), Radiologist, Naval Medical Center, Portsmouth, Va.