Dr. Phillips is a Professor of Radiology, Director of Head
and Neck Imaging, at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New
York–Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY. He is a member of the Applied Radiology Editorial Advisory Board.
has been pretty cold here lately, and we have had our fair share of
snow. Some days are pretty cold, too. So, okay, cold and snowy is cool
when you’re going skiing. When you’re going to work, however, it just
makes the trip partially miserable. We are a digital workforce, however,
and we have the ability to work at home. The question seems to be
whether or not you could maintain focus and work there. And that,my
friends, is where we have trouble.
The radiologist’s workplace is a
reading room. Or an office with dim lights and a comfortable chair. But
contemplate all the reading room accessories you have come to expect
and accommodate. Here are just a few.
My favorite reading room
chair has a big wad of years-old gum under the cushion in the front,
left corner. Just about an inch back.Spearmint, once upon a time. I
think. Really need that. And the work desk has a switch to adjust its
height that I invariably hit with my elbow when I get stumped by a case
and put my right elbow on the desktop. That’s another must.
about the gurgling water cooler in the back corner? Damn, that thing
sounds obscene about 4 or 5 times an hour. And the plastic cups destined
for the trash that instead hit the floor, accompanied by a soft curse,
and someone has to walk over and get it off the floor and put it in.
Just getting started. There is a printer in there, no longer used for
much. We are paperless. So, I guess we don’t need a printer, but there
it sits, blinking red and occasionally beeping forlornly for toner
(which I still have no earthly idea how it differs from ink) or maybe
paper. Once a week, it prints an activity log. Which sits in the
receiver until pushed to the floor by the next activity log next week.
To the floor, eventually. A PC beside it, on another stand. That is
supposed to be for outside cases. The desk height is just right to not
be correct for either sitting or standing. Have to have that at home,
too. And, a bathroom just outside the door. Public use, naturally! Great
sounds from in there every so often.
And, finally, the
never-ending cycle of people coming to consult. Twelve times on each
case because once is just not enough. Nope. We have nothing else to do.
Okay. So, maybe the working at home idea isn’t so bad. Maybe I could
maintain my focus. Mahalo.