By Raj Pyne, MD Summer 2018
In this new IRQ column, we ask IRs questions, thought-provoking and otherwise, and collect some of our favorite answers. Watch for more questions to be posted to SIR Connect!
At your high school reunion, how would you describe what you do as an IR to an old friend who has no medical background?
I use the phrase “plumber of human bodies” and clarify that I am referring to mostly blood vessels. Either opening up the pipe (to improve/increase the flow) or closing down/narrowing the pipe (to reduce flow), using various snake-like tools with different mechanisms at the end of it.
—Meghal Antani, MD, MBA, FSIR
I am a plumber for human arteries, veins, kidneys and livers.
—John Crocker, MD
IR is a field in which we use x-ray image guidance to perform minimally invasive procedures in all parts of the body through a pinhole incision. IR is revolutionary in a way as many of the procedures we do were previously done only by open surgery.
—Ripal Gandhi, MD, FSIR
Minimally invasive image-guided interventions or “have 018 will travel.” Typically, in real life when asked this question, I end up giving examples of types of procedures.
—Saba Gilani, MD
Video games with high stakes!
—Warren Krackov, MD
I say my work is like video games for grown-ups: I drive through and work on the arteries, veins, bile ducts and other plumbing of the body using tiny incisions and using imaging like live x-ray for guidance.
—Barbara Nickel Hamilton, MD
“I am an interventional radiologist . . .” [reaction: eyes wide with confused look] “ . . . so I use high-tech image-guidance to do minimally invasive surgeries and procedures, all through tiny incisions.” This elicits one of two responses: (1) “Wow. That’s sounds amazing.” or (2) “But I thought you said you were a radiologist.”
—Raj Pyne, MD
At my last reunion, I actually said, I have the best job, being a video gamer all day and somehow sometimes helping people.
—Susan Shamimi-Noori, MD
I usually say I do minimally invasive surgery using image guidance—blank look—then I fix blood vessels and freeze and burn tumors etc.—blank look—I’m a human plumber—OOOOOOOhhh I see . . .
—E. Brooke Spencer, MD, FSIR