Covering daily news for radiologists keeps this reporter alive and kicking

February 29, 2008

For a guy like me—a non-native speaker of English—writing daily news stories for U.S. radiologists can be a pretty frightening experience. But just as some people enjoy skydiving and others running with bulls in Spain, I get my adrenaline rush from my job.

For a guy like me-a non-native speaker of English-writing daily news stories for U.S. radiologists can be a pretty frightening experience. But just as some people enjoy skydiving and others running with bulls in Spain, I get my adrenaline rush from my job.

There is absolutely nothing that can get your juices flowing more intensely and desperately than the cold ruthlessness of a deadline. It may not sound pretty, but the beauty of it is I get rewarded as well all the way as I write. For instance, I get to be on the frontline of scientific discovery and discussion. I know that average people might never read my reports on imaging technologies and their likely clinical use. But knowing I'm writing about breakthroughs that could one day save their lives is comforting. And by virtue of being in Washington, DC, I am able to cover many of the stories begotten by the makers and shakers of radiology who are spread around the Capital Beltway.

Like any other journalist, I enjoy learning, researching, and writing about what is relevant to my readers and what is happening now. I also crave a rare feeling, perhaps not unlike what researchers and explorers savor: I was there first.

Ancient wisdom has it that enlightenment is not about reaching the finish line but enjoying the journey instead. Nonsense. Writing daily news for Diagnostic Imaging has taught me what instant gratification is all about. As much as I become enlightened by the stories I write, there is nothing sweeter than hearing two words seldom used by senior editors: nice story.

-H.A. Abella is associate editor of Diagnostic Imaging.