Departments of Diagnostic Medicine?

| February 2, 2009

Awhile back I wrote a few notes entitled "Stethoscopes, EMRs and EHRs – what is all the data worth?"

They were essentially musings about my own experiences with health records, patient data and some thoughts dealing with "evidence-based medicine" from some experiences I had the time. 

Recently I had the opportunity to meet several of the over 120 radiologists at my institution.  I asked about a dozen of them about the "merger of radiology and pathology services" I have been hearing and reading about in pathology for some time;

See – 10 reasons for radiology-pathology merger, "In diagnosis, a tale of two specialties" and Why Pathology should not merge with Radiology

With the exception of a few radiologists such as Dr. Li at MD Anderson in the above CAP Today article, it is hard to find any radiologists who have heard of this or have any thoughts on the matter. 

It is not entirely clear to me if this will happen or what it will look like, I think there are convincing reasons both for and against why it should or will happen.  Nonetheless, it appears to be largely driven by pathology with either little interest or thought from radiology

I haven't thought about business models for "diagnostic medicine", "molecular radiology", or "radiologic pathology" yet but gather there would be room for both specialties in such a field.  And perhaps if and when the radiology community looks at this, the cost-benefits of doing so will determine to what, if any extent this happens. 

Dark Daily had a piece on this as well.

One thing is certain – the next real department of diagnostic medicine beyond Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital on Fox will likely not look like this one.


Category: Clinical Laboratories, General Healthcare News, Radiology

Comments (3)

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  1. EM says:

    “it appears to be largely driven by pathology with either little interest or thought from radiology.”
    Exactly right. Radiologists will not be interested until we provide them with a way to diagnose better (read: make more money). Right now, with our diagnoses contradicting theirs, we are nothing but a pain on the butt.

  2. The easiest way to think of it is that they aim an area like a lump in the lung & give the lump a straight shot of radiation at it to kill the cells. The area around the lump is not harmed by the radiation, just the lump. Radiation can only be used for localized cancer, not any that have spread to other areas. Sometimes they will do both radiation with chemo to prevent the tumor spreading.Radiation oncology is the term used for the specialty of treating cancer patients with radiation. Good luck.

  3. melissa seminra says:

    this field or dept in medicine is greatly needed- although people feel any doctor or esp radiologists are diagnosticians maybe to a degree they are but we have nothing that comes close to what this dept on television does – it may be fictional but it is needed and would certainly save many lives- I am a patient who has had and still has a foreign body in me for 7 years after a csection- for the first 5 1/2 yrs i was diagnosed with MS lupus every autoimmune disease blood disease etc and all of them were wrong I was treated for the majority as well- one doctor yes one doctor said it is impossible for one patient to have all this and to test positive to 10 rare diseases as well- she reviewed all of my recirds something noone had done yet they said they had but none do what Dr house and is team do their job is to solve the problem i mean really solve the problem- after this doctor reviewed it she said you have an intra abdominal infection from childbirth then later looked at my films and saw what they said was a tampon right after childbirth on a ct scan when you cant even wear them yet- i still have not received help noone will do the surgery she tried to get support no other doctor would i dont want to get off track but unfortunately theres a mix of them 9most US doctors) not knowing how to identify a sponge and then the mix of not wanting to fix what is a mistake- if there were depts who their sole job is to analyze a patient and they cant go on until the patient is diagnosed and treated even if it ends in death but the key here is diagnosis- the majority of people today are walking around undiagnosed or improperly diagnosed- this dept would fail if they didnt diagnose it would be their sole job so they would have to do it- it is needed more than anyone knows or are willing to admit.I pray I get to see these depts popping up in major hospitals around our country right now i found one MAYO- thanks and God bless