Shaun J. Gonda, MD
Q: How do you as a radiologist help support the specialty?
Over the years, radiologists have created a self-imposed isolation by focusing on productivity at the expense of interaction. It does not have to be this way. I have found that being visible can have a significant and positive impact. In early 2013, I left a large practice for a one-radiologist hospital. Shortly thereafter,I hosted our first public discussion about mammography with a local women’s group. Since then, I have spoken on radiology topics to other organizations ranging from civic groups to universities. I have written dozens of articles for our local newspapers. I also appear on local television to promote our field. In the workplace, I talk to as many patients as feasible about imaging results. I can’t talk to every patient, but, in select cases, a few minutes’ discussion can significantly reduce patient anxiety while simultaneously improving awareness of ourfield. For example, I speak with every woman who undergoes a baseline mammogram so that she understands the process of screening and diagnostic mammography.If an outpatient is waiting after a stat exam, I take the time to inform the patient of his or her results as well as the ordering physician. The extra effort to be visible is not as daunting as it may seem. The degree of preparation is not overwhelming, as we already know the subject material, but the benefits are tangible. In less than two years, our imaging volume has increased by about 40 percent. I attribute a significant amount of this growth to greater community awareness of our practice.
Shaun J. Gonda, MD, radiologist at Wichita Radiological Group, in Wichita, Kan.