Radiologist finds lasting rewards in contact with patients

January 17, 2006

I enjoyed the column in your September issue ("Put a name tag on an invisible specialty," page 56). My retired RN and certified parish nurse wife is a former executive secretary and marketer who for years complained about the lack of radiologists' efforts to improve their image and inform the public of their role in medicine.

I enjoyed the column in your September issue ("Put a name tag on an invisible specialty," page 56). My retired RN and certified parish nurse wife is a former executive secretary and marketer who for years complained about the lack of radiologists' efforts to improve their image and inform the public of their role in medicine.

My wife has encouraged me to improve my image in both the local community and my hospital over the years. It has certainly been very good for me and probably helped prevent malpractice cases. I recently left my local hospital where I worked for the past 17 years. The response from both staff and people on the street has been humbling. I never realized how many lives I touched in a positive way. The imaging personnel and others at my hospital are begging me to return.

The widow of a local attorney thanked me this past week for taking the time several years ago to explain to both her late husband and her about his multiple myeloma that I discovered on his spinal MRI. This is an almost daily event whenever I go out in public and run into someone on the street. Many people, whom I don't know personally, know who I am because I helped their loved ones.

All I did in the past was take a few minutes out of my day to talk to patients whenever I thought it necessary. That's all. I couldn't talk to everyone, but whenever I could, I did.

-Alan F. Knull, M.D.

Woodstock, VA

E-MAIL US: jhayes@cmp.com