Matthew M. Miller, MD
Q: When did you know you wanted to be a radiologist?
Well, I would love to say there was a great thunderclap moment — an instant when even disinterested passersby would have to admit my unmistakable radiologist identity burst forth for the first time. But my path, it turns out, was a bit more gradual than that.
As a third-year medical student, I was impressed (read: shocked) by how often patient diagnosis relied on imaging to confirm the initial findings of clinical examination and laboratory testing. By the time I was a fourth-year medical student finishing my elective rotation in radiology, I knew I had found the field where I belonged.
But what was it about radiology that drew me in?
I was absolutely astonished that radiologists could impact the lives of so many individuals. One radiologist can change the lives and trajectory of care for 50+ people in a single day. Who else does that?
I found that solving problems, which is the nature of the work in the field, is incredibly intellectually rewarding. The opportunity to diagnose and the need for attention to detail provided new and exciting challenges each day.
I was attracted by the incredible opportunities for research (especially high-tech research) and the intriguing questions that remain unanswered.
I loved the atmosphere of teaching and collaborative learning that permeates the field. Even today, I have yet to meet a radiologist who can resist the overwhelming urge to summon every living thing within earshot to the workstation to witness an extraordinary case!
Matthew M. Miller, MD, breast imaging fellow at Duke University Medical Center