Why are Radiology Sub-Specialists Essential?
Simply put, you would not go to a general surgeon to have open heart surgery although they trained in such during their residency. You would go to a cardiac surgeon who did a fellowship/subspecialty training in cardiac surgery and is an expert in that specific type of surgery.
The same rationale holds true in all fields of medicine, in particular radiology.
There are several sub-specialty fields in radiology. These fields include Musculoskeletal Radiology, Neuroradiology, Body Imaging and Mammography, to name a few.
The Extra Mile in the Field of Radiology
Sub-speciality training in the field of radiology entails at least one extra year of fellowship training after successfully completing a full residency in diagnostic radiology. That extra training allows the radiologist to hone in on that particular field of radiology and learn it from attending radiologists who have been teaching that particular field and practicing that particular field of radiology for years. Thereby, they themselves, becoming experts in that particular field of radiology.
Subspecialists in radiology not only train in a subspecialty but they also practice that specialty. This means the speciality is incorporated as part of the required continuing medical education, as well as, exposure to more of those types of patient’s imaging studies in comparison to other radiologists. This provides an edge in that subspecialized field of radiology.
“The eyes do not see what the brain does not know.”
Subspecialists in radiology will likely see and therefore diagnose patients in a more specific way through the use of imaging. The best way to think about why is, “the eyes do not see what the brain does not know”. The radiologist who has spent his or her life learning a particular field becomes an expert in that field and is subsequently more capable than others. Therefore their brain will know what to look for and how to analyze what is presented in the study. At that point, their trained eyes will see what they need to see to make the diagnosis, and finally help the patient.