So Radiology Is Kinda Cool?

This week I am on a short radiology rotation.

A lot of people really want me to declare Radiology as a specialisation. The income is ridiculously good compared to the workload and working conditions – even in public South African health care. With the growth of telehealth in South Africa, there are even excellent opportunities to either work from home or effectively have two jobs at one time.

I’ve never been too interested. I am not great at interpreting scans. I like working with patients.

But I have to say, it does have its appeal. We did a barium enema on a one-month old child with a “query obstruction”. The poor little child has had problems since birth and has already had surgery. He was clearly uncomfortable and the abdomen was hugely distended.

We saw a stricture in the hepatic flexure of the colon. If all goes well, he should be more comfortable soon.

Radiology has a lot of rules. I like having rules – and I like being able to break them. So I guess that’s problem (and oddity) number one.

The radiologists are super clever. We attend their meetings, and the way first year registrars just rattle off terms and interpretations is very impressive.

The biggest problem is this: I suck at anatomy. That really is not an understatement. So yeeeeeh…

The most ubiquitous statement we have been hearing is,

“If you are good at anatomy, you will love Radiology.”


  1. I love looking at and trying to interpret scans, as seeing a tumour is so much more real than just reading a description of it on a radiology report. That being said, I would absolutely miss the patient contact if I’d picked it for a career. It’s definitely not for everyone! Based on the interest in patients and public health that you express on your blog, you strike me as someone who also would miss the patient contact. But of course, I only know you through the internet, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

    1. I think that’s a pretty accurate assessment – I really would miss patient contact. I’m just glad that there is still a long way to go before I need to think about a specialty. We visited radiation oncology today, so I’ll have a post about that up somewhere on the weekend. Thanks for the input 🙂

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