10 Questions with Erini Makariou, MD

December 7, 2016

For this "10 Questions" series, we spoke with Erini Makariou, MD, about her work and the future of radiology.

1. Please state your name, title, and the organization you work for. 

Erini Makariou, MD, professor of radiology, Georgetown University Medical Hospital (GUMC), Washington DC. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"54714","attributes":{"alt":"Erini Makariou, MD","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_2827146148550","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"6855","media_crop_rotate":"0","media_crop_scale_h":"0","media_crop_scale_w":"0","media_crop_w":"0","media_crop_x":"0","media_crop_y":"0","style":"height: 238px; width: 170px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":"Erini Makariou, MD","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

2. How did you get where you are today?

I went to medical school of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and I did my residency in diagnostic radiology at G. Papanikolaou Hospital in Thessaloniki, Greece. I came to the USA for a two-year fellowship in neuroradiology and after completing the fellowship, I found myself repeating my residency in radiology at the same institution (GUMC). During my residency, I was extremely interested in breast imaging and I was recruited to the faculty for Neuro and Breast Imaging.

3. Why did you choose your profession?

I loved anatomy, especially neuroanatomy and I was always fascinated by how symptoms correlate so well with the anatomic location of the disease. I always wanted to “see and believe” and imaging was the way. Breast imaging gives me the chance to be with the patient in a more clinical approach.

4. What is your biggest day-to-day challenge? 

Finding more time. Keeping current with the new technology and the information overload.

5. What worries, if any, do you have about the future of radiology? If none, where do you think the field is going?

Reimbursement for radiology declines and many bright medical students avoid radiology residency because they worry about their high college debt pay back. But, at the same time, I want to believe whoever decides to join radiology brings in passion and true love.

6. What one thing would make your job better?

Be free from all the hassle factors that technology brought in to our daily routine, switching from one system to the other. We need more time to concentrate on the real case rather than figure out how to dictate, compare, and deal with insurance issues.

7. What is your favorite thing about radiology?

After so many years in practice, surprising cases still come over and start amazing discussions with other attendings and residents. We can give accurate diagnosis by imaging only, and many times we “see” the real problem and put the puzzle together.

8. What is your least favorite thing about radiology?

Dark rooms. Any chance for a window and little sunshine?

The current technology provides easy access to clinicians to review the images and read the reports, but radiologists become more invisible and more isolated.

9. What is the field’s biggest obstacle?

Be visible to the patients and part of their journey. Communicate, assist and collaborate with the clinicians. Do not allow other specialties to steal any pieces from our field.

10. If you could give the radiology specialty one piece of advice, what would it be?

Patients come first. Do and ask appropriate studies. Be part of the medical community, be a leader, be a mentor.

Is there someone in the imaging community that you want to hear from? E-mail us their name and we'll ask them 10 questions.

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