Dreams of a radiologist

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“You know, I’m sick of following my dreams, man. I’m just going to ask where they’re going and hook up with ‘em later.”

—Mitch Hedberg

Mitch was right on target with this one, as with so many other observations he made (“I had a stick of CareFree gum, but it didn’t work. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.”).

I find dreams — the hopes, idealistic outcomes and/or what you’d like to experience to be an interesting topic, and not just from the “what did you dream about last night” angle. What are the things I dream about related to my job?

I dream of getting on the elevator at the ground floor and riding unaccompanied and un-delayed to the floor I work on. That would be awesome. What usually happens? Two kids are already on playing “How many buttons can we push?” and just as the doors are about to shut, a tardy arrival sticks their hand through the narrowing crack and holds it for three friends coming down the hall. And, repeat.

I dream of reading nothing but normal studies for a whole day. Whoa. I open study after study, and no matter how hard I look, they all read flat-out normal. Nothing to be found. Zilch. Nada. My productivity soars, and everyone else is happy that I’m reading all the “complicated” exams.

I dream of going out for lunch. Some bell sounds, or some horn blows; I put down my mouse, push the keyboard away, and walk out into the day (It’s always sunny in my dreams.), to a little café where all the staff know me. They ask if I’ll have the usual, and I say, “No, I think I’ll have a little smoked salmon, a frisee salad, and a Dijon vinaigrette.” They bring me a glass of wine, I enjoy lunch with some friends (in the sun, of course), and wander back to work hours later. And I rock.

I dream of going the whole day with no phone calls. The phone just sits there on the desk, taking up space but never ringing. I work uninterrupted, making brilliant observations on those “complicated” studies, and marveling at my acuity. Ahh, the phone sits silent — until it’s the Lamborghini dealer, telling me that my car is ready, but that’s another dream.

Keep doing that good work, and dreaming those good dreams. Mahalo.

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Phillips CD.  Dreams of a radiologist.  Appl Radiol.  2019;48(5):48.

By C. Douglas Phillips, MD, FACR| September 25, 2019
Categories:  Section

About the Author

C. Douglas Phillips, MD, FACR

C. Douglas Phillips, MD, FACR

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.

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