A Dream I Had

August 18, 2017

What will they ask of radiologists next?

I wrote a column, probably a year or two ago, about an odd type of radiology-based dream I tend to have. There’s no plot, no characters, not even a “me” in the dream…just images from a study, and my dreaming brain sets about dictating reports.

This wasn’t one of those. It was an old-fashioned, normal type of dream, but a little more vivid than most.

I was settled into my usual routine of reading cases from the comfort of my home. There was a kerfuffle going on with malfunctions of the software, my internet connection, whatever-the sort of thing that interferes with getting work done. So I was banging my head against the wall, trying to function in spite of it.

In walked some administrative type from my employer. It didn’t seem at all out of the ordinary that he’d just show up at my home, unannounced. Still, I don’t exactly dress up or make myself presentable when working from home, so I was a little discomfited in that regard.

I might have told him about my struggles, trying to get him to see that I wasn’t being given the best tools possible to get my job done, but if so that conversation didn’t last long. He was more interested in filling me in on some things that had been discussed in some recent meeting I’d not attended. Most of which was of no interest or relevance to me; thus, I don’t remember a shred of it.

Until the last bit: A little sheepishly, he revealed the new policy that, henceforth, rads would need to end their dictated reports with a line or two about important news-items of the day, such that referring clinicians who hadn’t been paying attention to current events would be better informed.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_crop","fid":"62604","attributes":{"alt":"Nightmare","class":"media-image media-image-right","id":"media_crop_9053443549539","media_crop_h":"0","media_crop_image_style":"-1","media_crop_instance":"7959","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: 177px; width: 170px; border-width: 0px; border-style: solid; margin: 1px; float: right;","title":"©Pretty Vectors/Shutterstock.com","typeof":"foaf:Image"}}]]

I say “a little sheepishly,” because he clearly recognized this was an obnoxious thing to be imposing on the rads, for little if any benefit to anyone. It was the sort of idea that people who sit in meetings all day might think is a good idea, without actually getting input from anyone outside the boardroom.

I did not take this well, and let him know in no uncertain terms. He didn’t even try to defend the concept, but there was an implied ultimatum: Comply with the policy, or you won’t be practicing radiology with us for much longer.

As he retreated, I was just beginning to wake up, so I’m not sure if it was my dream-self or my conscious reaction which inspired me to call after him, “Hey, while we’re at it, maybe we should have our rads providing traffic & weather on the 8’s!”

Needless to say, I was most grateful to remember, upon waking, that I was just starting a week off from work. If nothing else, the dream probably meant I could use a little break.