How Radiologists Are Like Offensive Linemen

Radiologists are a lot like offensive linemen. They don’t get much glory or recognition, and they are often the first to blame.

My wife and I are avid NFL football fans. While watching a game recently I realized the similarities between radiologists and offensive linemen. Both jobs don't have the glory of either being a physician or a football player. Many of their patients or fans would not recognize them if they are seen walking down the street.

The offensive lineman is a football player whose job is to protect the quarterback and running back and to allow them to fulfill their plan whether it is to pass the ball or to run the ball. They are usually blamed when either plan is not executed and not given the proper accolade if the play is well executed. They are the “behind the scenes” individuals who are an integral part of their team who you would probably not recognize if you see them walking down the streets.

Radiologists are physicians whose job is to help referring physicians make diagnoses to allow proper treatment to patients. They are usually blamed when something goes wrong and are usually the physician to get sued since they usually have no personal connection with the patient. When they make a great diagnosis where the referring physician was clinically puzzled, they are usually not given the proper respect.

So next time you watch a football game, make sure to root for the offensive linemen, the radiologists of football!

Vikash Panghaal, MD, MBA is a private practice radiologist with fellowship training in musculoskeletal radiology. He has additional training in business administration with a MBA in Health Care Management.