Summary: Radiologists work in the dark. I am not sure I need to say anything more
about our love for coffee after that statement. We work in the dark. We
need caffeine to stay alert, and I have to tell you, energy drinks with
caffeine don’t do it for me. Nothing can make me happier than hot,
black coffee with two sugars. Well, okay. One other caffeine product.
More on that.
Dr. Phillips is a Professor of Radiology, Director of Head
and Neck Imaging, at Weill Cornell Medical College, NewYork-Presbyterian
Hospital, New York, NY. He is a member of the Applied Radiology Editorial Advisory Board.
I am a coffee fanatic. Once you go to proper coffee, you can’t go back. You cannot go back.
— Hugh Laurie
work in the dark. I am not sure I need to say anything more about our
love for coffee after that statement. We work in the dark. We need
caffeine to stay alert, and I have to tell you, energy drinks with
caffeine don’t do it for me. Nothing can make me happier than hot, black
coffee with two sugars. Well, okay. One other caffeine product. More on
As radiologists, we discuss coffee a lot. If you didn’t
know better, you’d think we were coffee brokers and merchants. But,
we’re not paid that well and that is the critical distinction. Between
cases, we are about as likely to discuss coffee as restaurants (and we
talk about the coffee we had at those restaurants, which was why we’re
discussing the restaurants). I’m surrounded by coffee shops here in NYC:
“The city that never sleeps”? I know why. We’re all way
over-caffeinated. You thought it was because of the number of things to
do, right? I think there are many schools of thought as to what is a
good coffee. Maybe you’re the cappuccino type, maybe a latte drinker,
maybe coffee with some flavor, or maybe you like (horrors!) decaf. I’ve
been drinking coffee pretty religiously since medical school. Before
medical school,the idea of drinking a beverage to sharpen the mind or
wake up in the morning was not present. I was led to the dark side by
morning anatomy lab. Radiology just kicked the whole thing into high
The coffee stand, coffee cart, or coffee shop of your choice
is likely in possession of the following elements: coffee in several
different varieties, pastries, flavor syrups, teas (why, oh Lord, why?),
and, my personal favorite—chocolate-covered roasted espresso beans.
Have you had these? I don’t think these should be sold over the counter.
I think you should have a prescription, and have it signed off by your
cardiologist. It’s all your sugar requirements, chocolate, and a few
hundred grams of caffeine. They are jet fuel. Think of them as fuel rods
for your nuclear reactor. A few of those and I feel like my eyelids
were cemented in the full open position. My pupils are at F2. I talk
like Alvin. I saw some one time that were decaf. Ha! What’s the point in
that? Make them sugar free, and then you have a completely worthless
Next time you’re in line for java, don’t just eye that little cellophane bag of coffee napalm. Go ahead. Mahalo.