It was one particular moment in medical school that propelled Dr William Siu, President of the BC Radiological Society, to venture into the field of Radiology. “While attending rounds as a senior medical student, I was blown away by what I saw an Interventional Radiologist do for a particular case – a case that highlighted the cutting edge and futuristic potential of Interventional Radiology. This was what led me to choose Radiology for my residency.”
There is a common myth or misperception that radiologists choose their specialty because of the life style and minimal patient interaction it provides. However, for Dr Siu this couldn’t be further from the truth. “I think for many radiologists, myself included, the most compelling reasons we choose this specialty are the intellectual and technical aspects.”
Radiology, sometimes called medical imaging, is the branch of medicine that uses imaging techniques such as x-rays, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance to diagnose diseases and guide interventions. The most visible contribution Radiology makes to every day medicine is that of image interpretation – radiologists interpreting the results of imaging exams and providing indispensable information to treating physicians.
Radiology has traditionally been an attractive and competitive residency for medical students. However, in the last several years it has been faced with a new and unexpected challenge – a decreased interest in radiology residency positions, which Dr Siu attributes to a lack of jobs for residency graduates. “It’s a relatively new phenomenon for us,” explains Dr Siu. “Like many specialties, we’re used to facing significant manpower issues and now we have the opposite – no available jobs.” But Dr Siu is hopeful that this issue is merely a cyclical one, and that impending retirements and an increasing demand for and reliance on imaging by medical practitioners will create a number of job opportunities in the not-so-distant future.
Over the years, Radiology has participated in various Specialist Services Committee (SSC) projects, received SSC funding and support through the SSC fees and through the specialist-led quality and innovation initiatives.