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Nuclear Medicine: Present and Future Part III

March 3, 2009
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Nuclear Medicine: Present and Future Part III

The nuclear medicine specialist of the near future will need to exhibit excellence in scintillation-generated imaging studies, and cross-sectional studies generated from other energy sources.

By Stephen R. Baker, MD, Special Presentation, March 2008

Challenges on the horizon: The role of nuclear medicine in radiology

Another consequence of the changes proposed in radiology training will be the consolidation of small groups of radiologists into larger ones, and the growth of existing larger ones, allowing for those with nuclear medicine training to be accommodating to such assemblages of radiologists, even though their practice may be limited to just one area.

Although this ladder effect may encourage present-day nuclear medicine physicians to consider a widening range of potential employment options, a counter possibility may be a tendency to hire, instead, former radiology residents who have spent additional training in nuclear medicine, thereby reducing a nuclear medicine resident’s options.

Despite the long-standing but now recently changed iteration as a two-year residency beyond internship (formerly 3 years), nuclear medicine had been vulnerable because of its limited or narrowly focused corpus of knowledge. It has also been vulnerable because of its length of training interval.

Inasmuch as nuclear medicine capability is reflected by Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensure, other indices of practice are available to those in other specialties who also have gained competence in live fields of diagnosis.

For example, those who have experience imaging with all energy sources of radiology and with the full gamut of the practice of cardiology would qualify for licensure.

The limitation of a nuclear medicine residency is all too readily apparent to hospitals, multispecialty clinics, cardiology practices and radiology groups. Either nuclear medicine physicians are at an adherent disadvantage for hiring or, if hired, they are apt to face the likelihood of a lower salary.

CME Courses Available:

 

PET/CT and SPECT/CT To Plan and Monitor the Treatment of Cancer The precise tailoring of treatment for patients with cancer is an unmet challenge. The goal is to only administer treatments that have a high probability of being effective. Imaging with PET/CT and SPECT/CT provides methods that will help achieve this goal. The program covers the current clinical challenges, the new emerging answers from imaging, and how these methods can be applied to patient care. Read more: Nuclear Medicine: PET/CT and SPECT/CT

 

-- Diagnostic Imaging Review: For Residents, Fellows and Radiologists UCSF’s Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging recently conducted its annual radiology review course. It will soon be available in two video formats to meet your needs— DVD and MP4. Order now to get your special pre-publication discount. Read more or order: Diagnostic Imaging Review

The result of the American College of Radiology board modifications may further jeopardize the vitality of nuclear medicine residencies as presently constituted.

Bearing in mind that nearly all of them are in academic practices in which there is also a radiology residency, what is the way out of this dilemma?

A five-year interval of training so created will produce competent nuclear medicine physicians who will be able to participate with reasonable facility in most radiology groups of sufficient size whose leaders will seek to include on their professional staff individuals who so specialize primarily in each of the various areas of imaging.

A five-year nuclear medicine residency encompassing nonnuclear image training as well will create physician-practitioners and physician-researchers in nuclear imaging.

The value of such innovation in content and length cannot be gainsaid. It is crucial to the development of exceptionally competent 21st-century nuclear physicians.

Moreover, it is essential for the maintenance of nuclear medicine as a specific area of professional expertise having its own corpus of knowledge.

The integration of the devises presages the integration of practice. Hence the nuclear medicine specialist of the near future must exhibit excellence in scintillation-generated imaging studies and cross-sectional studies generated from other energy sources.

Further developments in the specialty require full consideration of the training paradigm for nuclear medicine.

CME Courses Available:

 

PET/CT and SPECT/CT To Plan and Monitor the Treatment of Cancer The precise tailoring of treatment for patients with cancer is an unmet challenge. The goal is to only administer treatments that have a high probability of being effective. Imaging with PET/CT and SPECT/CT provides methods that will help achieve this goal. The program covers the current clinical challenges, the new emerging answers from imaging, and how these methods can be applied to patient care. Read more: Nuclear Medicine: PET/CT and SPECT/CT

 

-- Diagnostic Imaging Review: For Residents, Fellows and Radiologists UCSF’s Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging recently conducted its annual radiology review course. It will soon be available in two video formats to meet your needs— DVD and MP4. Order now to get your special pre-publication discount. Read more or order: Diagnostic Imaging Review
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