10 Questions with Stamatia V. Destounis, MD

February 18, 2016

For this “10 Questions” series, we spoke with Stamatia V. Destounis, MD, about her work and the future of radiology.

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

Stamatia V. Destounis, MD, FACR, FSBI, clinical professor, University of Rochester; radiologist, Elizabeth Wende Breast Care, LLC.

2. How did you get where you are today?

I am a breast imager in a private practice that specializes in breast disease but also performs a great deal of clinical research and, as part of our mission, educates our community of patients, referring physicians, and students of medicine and radiology. I became interested in women’s health and specifically breast disease early on as a second year resident in radiology and pursued my interest with a one year fellowship at the Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic under the direction of Wende Logan Young. I have remained at the facility that has since grown to add four satellite offices and serve patients in the upstate NY area.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"46010","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_5902940855059","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"5302","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: 255px; width: 170px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":"Stamatia V. Destounis, MD","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

3. Why did you choose your profession?

I enjoyed the many facets of radiology and the many ways a radiologist could diagnose disease and help patients with many diverse disease processes. Radiology has the ability to detect disease in any body organ and enable treatment specific to that organ and, frequently, imaging may be used for the specific treatment.

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

We are filmless and live in the world of PACS, networks, and bandwidths. If anything isn’t perfectly online, things may go awry, which delays patient care, patient satisfaction, and creates workflow concerns. In addition, along with the many other stressors, we have patients with insurance concerns, high deductible plans, or complex billing questions that we find ourselves trying to sort out or answer, which is another moving target.

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

I have many concerns about the future of radiology, there are many threats from other specialties and turf wars, dwindling reimbursements and bundling of procedure codes, concern over radiation risk and control of utilization to the point of reduction of services that is important and necessary for high quality patient care.

6. What one thing would make your job better?

Security that our practice will remain viable for years to come with partnerships forming daily in our area and hospital systems leveraging for taking over a greater number of patients in the region.

7. What is your favorite thing about radiology?

Our profession is exciting every day. Cases that come through are surprising and new and it is never the same. The patients that present are unique and we play a major role in identifying disease processes and helping the patient be healthy.

8. What is your least favorite thing about radiology?

The constant battles with insurance companies, the longer time spent on documentation and defensive reporting, practicing defensive medicine, lack of tort reform, and concerns of medical liability and litigation.

9. What is the field’s biggest obstacle?

Continuing to be visible to the patient. Having the public and referring physicians realize how valuable we are. Continue to educate our community as to our value.  Be educators and communicators. Be visible, don’t allow our specialty be sold off in pieces.

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

Be valuable, be open, educate, and be visible. Offer value, don’t just recommend studies that are not helpful. Be leaders and set good examples.

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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