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Tomorrow’s radiologist: what future?

Il radiologo di domani: quale futuro

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Today’s radiology is experiencing two major trends, one negative and one positive. The first is the so–called turf war, in other words, the progressive invasion of the imaging domain by other specialists such as cardiologists, urologists, gastroenterologists, gynaecologists etc. who are taking over various techniques from ultrasonography (US) to computed tomography (CT) to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this process, they are aided by new technologies such as picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) and computed–aided diagnosis CAD and by radiology technologists who collaborate with them, replacing radiologists. The positive aspect is the outstanding technological evolution: the advent of molecular imaging, optical imaging, nanotechnologies, teleradiology and percutaneous gene therapy. While dramatically expanding the diagnostic possibilities down to the subcellular level, these techniques demand new forms of training in radiology and interdisciplinary cooperation. Tomorrow’s radiologist will need to acquire appropriate clinical knowledge, restore contact with the patient to take on a prominent role in the diagnostic process, learn the basic sciences, foster a multidisciplinary approach and finally be able to use the Internet for learning and continuing education. Tomorrow’s radiologists will survive if they learn to reinvent themselves.

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Correspondence to L. Dalla Palma.

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Dalla Palma, L. Tomorrow’s radiologist: what future?. Radiol med 111, 621–633 (2006).

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