Podcast #324: Paul Hsieh on Radiology in Practice

 Posted by on 19 December 2014 at 8:00 am  Podcasts
Dec 192014

On Thursday’s episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I interviewed Dr. Paul Hsieh about “Radiology in Practice.” The podcast of that episode is now available for streaming or downloading.

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Podcast: 18 December 2014

Most people have seen cool medical imaging devices such as CT and MRI scanners on TV shows. But what do those machines really do? Advanced medical imaging has revolutionized patient care in the past 25 years, allowing doctors to make diagnoses more accurately, quickly, and safely than ever before. Radiologist Dr. Paul Hsieh discussed the basics of modern radiology (x-rays, MRI, ultrasound, and nuclear medicine), how these different tests work, what they show about the human body, and how they help doctors take better care of patients.

Dr. Paul Hsieh is a radiologist in practice in South Denver. He received his MD from the University of Michigan, then completed a residency in diagnostic radiology at Washington University in St. Louis, and an MRI fellowship at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Prior to entering private practice, he was an Assistant Professor of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine. He is the co-founder of Freedom and Individual Rights in Medicine (FIRM). He has written scores of columns, mostly on health care policy, as well as articles for The Objective Standard. He blogs offbeat tech news at GeekPress.

Listen or Download:


  • About radiology
  • The different imaging modalities
  • X-rays
  • CAT Scans
  • MRI Scans
  • Ultrasound
  • Nuclear Medicine
  • PET Scans
  • Interventional Radiology
  • Radiation dangers
  • Medical education
  • Access to the radiologist
  • Specialization in radiology
  • Paul’s work
  • Paul’s choice of radiology


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  • Amlan Gupta

    Totally fascinating and amazing. Thank you Paul and Diana.

  • Patrick

    Very helpful! Thanks for doing this interview. :)

    I’m just a med student, but interested in radiology. However, although radiology is utterly fascinating as a field, the job market seems absolutely horrible right now. I hope this is overstated, but I know lots of my class feels the same. Not to mention (more importantly) residents and even a couple of fellows at our institution. I heard they’re even thinking of doing a second fellowship. And this is in light of the fact that no one expects a “radioholiday” lifestyle and salary at all, those days are long gone, but everyone is willing to work hard, work nights, weekends, move away from major cities, etc. Yet they still are facing difficulties, and feeling pretty insecure about either getting a job or keeping a job once they’ve gotten one. It’s a shaky future. (Although some of this surely applies to medicine and health care in general. Yet radiology seems to be one of the worst affected. Maybe only pathology fares worse.)

    I wonder if either of the Hsiehs had any comment on this? I’d love radiology, and maybe I should just “do what I love,” but at the same time, if there are no decent jobs out there afterwards, and college and med school debt being what it is, it seems harder to justify a “do what you love” philosophy in pursuing a discipline? Any thoughts from uber intelligent radiologist-philosopher duo would be most welcome to a young med student and radiologist hopeful! :)

    • PaulHsiehMD

      Patrick: You should definitely pick a subspeciality that you’re genuinely interested in. If you pick one based on other factors, you’ll have a hard time mustering the energy to keep up in the field, etc. Plus you’ll convey some subtle degrees of dissatisfaction when interacting with patients, colleagues, support staff, etc.

      That said, it *will* be a very turbulent time for pretty much all medical specialties in the next several years. I can’t give much guidance on that score, since the issues will depend on what politicians and regulators decide to do.

      FWIW, the radiology job market has had multiple peaks and valleys over the past 20 years, and I don’t think that’s going to change. So you may have to be prepared to find a job in not quite your preferred part of the country, or for your preferred salary, etc. Only you can know what tradeoffs you’re willing to make.

      Bottom line: You really ought to pick a field you genuinely like. But it’s also totally reasonable to factor in other issues like job market, stability, etc.

      Hope this helps. If you want to contact me privately, use my gmail address, handle PaulHsiehMD

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