Stories of Hope, Moments of Change
Times are tougher than ever to find balance and feel safe. Sharing experiences makes connections and builds strength in a way that is difficult to achieve alone. If you need a well-being boost, take a look at some of the ways your fellow radiologists have found—or created—bright spots in the midst of upheaval.
And if you have seen or done something that has inspired you during the pandemic, we’d love to hear it. This could be something your practice or institution has implemented to make it easier to work from home or a small act of kindness seen on your way to work.
David Fessel, MD
“The director of our Dept. Wellness program, Dr. Kim Garver, did weekly Zoom calls with our department during the COVID crisis. These were super helpful for building morale, positive culture, and supporting radiologists and staff. It was a bright spot in the week for many and even helped us meet each other during breakout room parts of the call. Our dept. is so big and there are not a lot of opportunities to interact. This was a huge positive during a very challenging time.”
Jason Darrow, CEO of Medford Radiological Group
“I am happy to share that a recent fundraising event raised awareness, funds, and goods for four local non-profits. Our radiologists are the best and are supporting our community both medically and with their community actions. Go MRG!”
Sadhna Verma, MD
“We decided to test a comprehensive mind-body wellness protocol, Yoga of Immortals (YOI). I had learned YOI from a colleague in California and found it to be very useful in my daily life. It consists of deep breath work, physical stretches, and short meditation (30 minutes total). Using social media 3,500 people responded and wanted to participate. So after an IRB approval at University of Cincinnati we sent some pretest surveys to asses general quality of life and mental health status (using validated scales GAD7, PHQ8, ISI and SF 12) during the pandemic, followed by YOI protocol (questionnaires sent every 2 weeks for 2 months).
I had not expected such a large, diverse crowd: college students to grandparents and health professionals! The results are phenomenal (p<.005) in all categories. It has been so heartwarming to hear how grandparents connected with the rest of the family using YOI; they discussed their progress each week! I am also thankful as my father who has recently recovered from a stroke has found the evening YOI protocol helpful for insomnia! As a request from all the participants, I am continuing the study to phase 2 in August 2020, now with 5,000 people!”
Jay Crittenden, MD, FACR
“A true bright spot is the value that radiology continues to add to the health care system in the COVID era. We do lots of good for a large number of patients in unprecedented times. This means lots of focused time concentrating at our workstations to accomplish the required volume of work.
We pay a high price to do this volume of work. The price is much less contact with patients, referring docs, and especially fellow rads. I really miss personally showing a “home run” diagnosis to a partner or getting a mini-consult on a tough case. Note that the history on a study may come in the form of an ICD-10 code and that the depersonalization of AI is at hand.
It’s impossible for the individual rad to redirect the steamroller that is high volume radiology. However, by texting a photo of a good case or calling for help on a tough case (even though your fellow rad may be in another facility a thousand miles distant), we can keep personalized radiology alive and fun. Important results can be communicated directly to the referring doc (not always easy). We can jump in if there’s a chance to talk with a patient face to face.
I recently had a personal bright spot in that I completed six decades in radiology and love continuing to work into the seventh decade. I feel upbeat about our specialty in spite of the challenges and changes to come. I’ll continue to support the ACR to deal with the steamroller stuff as it has done so well in the past 60 years.”
Ian Weissman, DO, FACR
“Being part of a vibrant social media family on Twitter has kept me connected to my colleagues and community although we are currently separated due to physical distancing. Grateful to all the dedicated patient advocates who are sharing information and providing education about well-being and COVID-19 related issues to keep us healthy and safe as we work together to support our community during this pandemic.”
Anu Brixey, MD
“During the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide protests, as part of a discussion during a Diversity and Inclusion Webex meeting with my colleagues, I co-founded the Women in Radiology Group at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Recognizing the striking gender disparity that continues to exist in radiology, we knew that we needed a way to provide solidarity and camaraderie to female residents, fellows, and faculty. We kicked off our group with a Webex happy hour where 14 female radiology faculty attended to brainstorm ideas with the goal of enhancing professional collaboration and personal support through a series of regularly scheduled events.
These events will range from book clubs and outdoor social activities to medical student outreach promoting radiology to speaker events on well-being, achieving success and overcoming barriers. The enthusiasm for this group is palpable! The Rad Women of OHSU are very excited to empower one another as well as females everywhere.”