Radiologists are doctors who are specially trained to analyse and interpret radiological images.
Dr Peter Dixon and his team of four qualified radiologists, Dr Raj Fernando, Dr Kjell Westerberg, Dr Henry Liu and Dr Karl Isaacson, are the cornerstone of Broadway Radiology. Dr Dixon describes them as “the key to the practice”.
Outside of Palmerston North Hospital, Dr Dixon’s team are the only qualified radiologists in Manawatu. A member of the team is always on site, Monday to Friday to provide that immediate diagnosis required by our referring doctors, specialists and midwives. They also perform radiological interventions such as steroid injections and biopsies, where a needle is used to obtain tissue for laboratory analysis.
It takes more than 10 years to become a radiologist. Firstly medical students train as a doctor for six years and then receive a further five years training as radiology registrars, and it doesn’t end there. If they want to focus on a particular aspect of radiology there’s an additional two years training to achieve a Specialist Fellowship. The five radiologists bring over a hundred years experience and a wide range of skills and perspectives to their work. They come from England, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand but are now Kiwis and live and participate in the community.
Dr Peter Dixon explains that the role of a radiologist is to interpret the images from the range of equipment such as CT scans, ultrasound, MRI and X-Rays and then send a report to referring, GPs, specialists and midwives. “We see every case that comes to Broadway Radiology and study and interpret the images,” he says. “Our six years of training as medical doctors is crucial to our role as radiologists as we bring our knowledge of disease and anatomy to our interpretations. You can’t interpret an image in isolation from everything else.”
The majority of radiologists also practise at Palmerston North Hospital. Dr Dixon finds that valuable. “It gives me the experience of a wider variety of patients and diseases and the opportunity to work with colleagues in surgery,” he says. “The interaction is very important and it builds mutual trust between specialists, GPs and ourselves. There we are often confronted with more complex issues which is good for our ongoing development. “Our wide experience in the hospital situation and at Broadway Radiology puts us in a position to offer a high standard of diagnostic skills.” Dr Dixon and his team are very aware that an accurate interpretation is vital to the wellbeing and health of the patient. He says dealing with people’s lives and the significance attached to an abnormality through a scan is essential to directing a patient on the right path to treatment and determining what needs to be done in the future. “That’s why we’re here. We’re locally owned and operated and our job is to make the correct interpretations so people can receive appropriate and effective treatment,” Dr Dixon says.
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