Dr Haroons Training Centre

Beyond pressing buttons : CT and MRI basics

Countless movies have shown the scene . The car or jeep in which  the hero and heroine are  travelling comes to a  grinding halt in middle of a jungle road . The hero jumps out opens the bonnet of the vehicle and does something miraculously ( though hes not  a trained mechanic ) the car restarts   and they travel happily ever after . Car chases too though needs specialised training is readily known to the hero , james bond in particular .

Now coming back to the average person its a known fact that many dont know how to manage common issues with the car even changing a tyre . And even in driving ,the driving skill of people are not uniform thanks to non uniform training  and 90 percent of accidents are due to human error . Nowadays there are many driving institutes which take care of both these as they know driving is beyond holding the steering . 

Why i tell this is because though operating a highly complex system like CT or MRI is easy these days since they come with user friendly softwares controlling them, using them efficiently is a different story altogether . Thanks to the booming economy nowadays most advanced CT and MRI scanners are sold  in india at the same time they are sold in the west and sometimes even launched here before Europe and USA ..But much of the curriculum is not designed to handle all these latest advances . 

In day to day practice , just like a car ,using this is not very complicated but using it efficiently especially when dealing with advanced applications is challenging . This is where the lacunae in knowledge starts causing issues .  

One of the most spectacular imaging advances is cardiac CT and these days  CT scanners can do a heart scan in seconds . But inspite of that if the operator doesnt know the difference between scanning a bypass graft patient and a usual patient there is no use in buying the most advanced scanner . A perfectly scanned heart after pressing a few buttons but with half the graft missing from the image shows its important to learn the key principles . The same goes with timing of the scan , planning the parameters etc .

Radiology is exciting as well as challenging . But part of the excitement and challenge is doing the job at hand in the most efficient manner . This is where a strong base in the key principles of radiological anatomy , medical physics and basic clinical radiology makes a key difference between pressing buttons and doing an excellent job . 

Coming back to cars and jeeps in our original example there must be somewhere in the world which teaches for a fee james bond style driving . Till then let me stick to CT and MRI and their wonderful world .

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