Traditions: Old & New

RSNA is upon us, and it brings familiar traditions to attendees: the crowded post-Thanksgiving trek to Chicago, long lines for lattes at every Starbucks in McCormick Place and the unbridled excitement that accompanies first-hand experience of imaging’s newest technologies and applications.  

We tend to find comfort in the familiar. However, most of us are all too keenly aware that familiar healthcare delivery systems and payment models are in the midst of a massive transformation. Front and center in this transformation is the patient. Hence the theme of RSNA 2012: Patients First.

It’s unfamiliar territory for many radiologists. RSNA President George S. Bisset III, MD, pointed out to Health Imaging, “Radiologists talk about the patients, rather than our patients, as if we are remote from patient care.” Shifting to patient-centric radiology requires a change in tradition.
In a bit of solidarity, Health Imaging piloted a new tradition this RSNA season. Instead of our annual future of radiology feature, we investigated the radiologist future. My conversations with millennial radiologists provided a fresh outlook on radiology. This generation, which will undoubtedly face ongoing challenges, is prepped to apply its digital know-how, comfort with collaboration and other 21st century skills to successfully navigate what is undoubtedly unfamiliar territory.

For readers looking for the jolt of informatics, we gathered three of the best thinkers in imaging informatics—Paul J. Chang, MD; Keith J. Dreyer, DO, PhD; and Eliot L. Siegel, MD—and asked for input on a bit of buzz that has circulated McCormick Place in the last few years. PACS, according to some naysayers, is approaching obsolescence. Not true, say these leaders. In fact, innovation will ripple through the industry. For specifics, be sure to read PACS: Dead, Dying or Re-born.

Other must-reads in this issue include an analysis of the changing nature of the hospital-based radiology market, an examination of trends and challenges in medical malpractice and an overview of the top five under-the-radar patient safety issues.

Of course, we also continue our traditional question-and-answer with the RSNA president and RSNA conference preview. The Health Imaging team will be at McCormick Place and providing live online coverage of educational sessions in our daily RSNA 360˚ newsletter. Plus, we are pioneering new traditions. Be sure to check in at for conference videos and blogging.

What familiar tradition is your practice maintaining? What new traditions are you exploring? Please let us know.