The adrenaline-rush of seeing or doing an elegant procedure that can alter the course of a patient’s life is often the career-inspiring doorway into interventional radiology. But, over time, there needs to be a pivot to a different approach – one in which drama and thrill-seeking play second fiddle to perfecting procedural medicine by standardisation and a focus on outcomes, so that satisfaction rests on providing planned, precise, evidence-based, immediate and longitudinal clinical care.
So says Ziv J Haskal (Charlottesville, USA), who presented the 2021 Charles T. Dotter Lecture at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s annual scientific meeting titled “The Reluctant Cowboy: Moving Past Myth and Dogma”.
In the lecture, Haskal notes that the problem-solving, lone-ranger cowboy interventional radiology mindset needs to give way to the drumbeat of an army marching in search of, and in support of, evidence. Importantly, sceptical analysis, which must underpin this quest, must turn its sights “at home” with a reappraisal of the common myths and accepted truths that masquerade as evidence – and this can reveal the often shaky ground for decision making in interventional radiology, he says.
“We are not cowboys doing things because we ‘think it makes sense’, rather we must seek to understand the limits of known data, and adhere to science, where it exists,” he tells Interventional News. And, he also talks about skydiving.
Registrants can watch the lecture on-demand at SIR’s Digital Video Library.