ARA’s, Dr. Gregory Connor, talks about the role of a radiologist, their education and training, their sub-specialties, and the various screening methods they use to help other doctors detect health issues and serious diseases.
Anchor: Welcome back to We Are Austin. You know, a picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to your health. Dr. Gregory Connor with ARA shares the many ways they use imaging to get people the help they need. It’s nice to see you Dr. Connor.
Doctor: Thank you Taylor. Thanks for having me.
Anchor: So, we’re talking about radiology and radiologists and that’s a terms we’ve all really heard a lot but radiologist really do?
Doctor: A Radiologist is a medical doctor who has gone through four years of medical school. Once they get their medical degree in medical school, they then go on to do internships, residencies, usually fellowship – many additional years of training to become experts in medical imaging to diagnose disease and injuries. So, Radiologists are thought of as a doctor’s doctor because usually we are the doctor that your primary care doctor might turn to for assistance.
Anchor: A consultant.
Doctor: As a consultant for assistance to try and get to the bottom of what’s going on with the help of the many medical imaging studies that we perform.
Anchor: Right, and what are some of the different imaging studies. I know like CT’s scans, and right.
Doctor: So, you know one of the most common and the basics that people think of are x-rays, so we do a lot of x-rays. We do mammography for the screening of breast cancer, and then we do different more advanced imaging studies that include ultrasound, CT scans, MRI’s, PET scans.
Anchor: And so, all of that’s kind of housed under this umbrella of radiology.
Doctor: That’s right.
Anchor: I think it’s really good to know kind of where all that’s coming from.
Doctor: So, part of that training, we all as radiologists learn to interpret those studies and then any of us go on and do some further kind of sub-specialization where you really learn to become an expert in just a few of those imaging modalities.
Anchor: Neat, and able to diagnose something really specific.
Anchor: So, tell me what you think is kind of exciting in this field right now. Like, what do you think is the future of radiology.
Doctor: Well, one of the things that we are very excited about is being able to bring to our community 3D mammography.
Doctor: And we are now able to do screening mammograms looking for breast cancer where we are really able to look at layers of the breast tissue in a very precise way that wasn’t possible until very recently. It’s kind of a revolutionary improvement in the detection of breast cancer. So, we‘re finding breast cancers much earlier at an earlier stage where they’re more easily treated.
Anchor: Yeah, that’s really good to hear. Is there anything else on the forefront like that?
Doctor: Another area that we’re very excited about is the interventional procedures that we perform. I was mentioning how different radiologist end up sub-specializing. We have some radiologists end up sub-specializing in image guided procedures. So, after doing a four-year residency where they learn how to diagnose disease, then they also learn how to use imaging as guide to do certain treatments. So, we’re doing a lot of vein therapy in the legs, varicose veins and things like that. We use precise image guidance to close those veins up in a very minimally invasive way.
Anchor: Wow! That is so impressive. So, you were kind of speaking to it earlier, but where does a radiologist fall in the landscape of the medical profession in general?
Doctor: Yes, as I was saying, you know, one of the exciting things about being a radiologist is that at some point in almost everyone’s life I end up getting involved in trying to help them whether they realize it or not.
Doctor: Most people at some point in their life are going to medical imaging to help their doctors figure out what’s going on. Sometimes it’s just for a screening purpose, like a mammogram, they’re having no problems. We’re going to be involved in your lives and some patients don’t realist that because often times we’re behind the scenes. You come in a get your imaging study performed and you’ve got to get on to the rest of your day. So, you may not necessarily interact with the radiologist that’s there, but behind the scenes we’re helping your doctor get to the bottom of what’s going on in your health.
Anchor: Yeah, that’s really neat. Dr. Connor, thanks so much and for the role you play. We’ll put some info on the screen about how people can find ARA in the Austin area. You guys been here for a long time, really serving the community. You can head to that website or you can call the number on your screen to book appointments. Thank you! We’ll see you soon.
Doctor: Thank you for having me. Appreciate it.
ARA continues to follow CDC guidelines in requiring employees and patients to wear masks at our imaging centers for the safety of all.