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Careers in Managed Care Organizations: Radiologist, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Managed Care Organizations (MCOs) are healthcare systems designed to increase organizational efficiencies and decrease costs while delivering the best quality healthcare possible to patients (MCO, n.d.). There are various types of MCOs such as pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, long-term care facilities and mental health continuums. Additionally, health care careers within MCOs serve various roles within the organization. For example, a Radiologist career is part of a hospital MCO and is primarily comprised of two disciplines: diagnostic and interventional radiology (MedlinePlus, 2012).

Radiologist Description

Radiology is a specialty within the profession of medical doctors (MDs). According to the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA), a radiologist determines digital image findings and compares them with a patient’s other examinations or tests results, in order to recommend treatments (RadiologyInfo.org, 2012). A radiologist’s main job function is to analyze digital imaging taken from patient scans to help diagnose problems (diagnostic radiology) or to offer intervention advice (interventional radiology), in conjunction with other physicians, to determine courses of treatment for various diseases or conditions. Diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology are two services within the radiologist profession, as identified below.

Diagnostic Radiology

This area of radiology is used for routine health screenings such as with mammograms to check for signs of breast cancer, to help diagnose causes of symptoms and to analyze and monitor disease or condition treatment response. This is done by taking pictures of the inside of a patient’s body with diagnostic medical technology such as CT scans, CAT scans, MRIs, bone scans, x-rays or ultrasounds (MedlinePlus, 2012). These scans are often necessary to pinpoint what a patient is ailing from or to make determinations on health outcomes, particularly as they relate to cardiovascular, musculoskeletal and neurological treatment issues (RadiologyInfo.org, 2012).

Interventional Radiology

This area of radiology allows radiologists the ability to intervene on medical treatment in lieu of having patients scoped or put through surgery. Interventional radiologists use digital imaging to assist them when using various minimally invasive probing techniques such as with using catheters, angioplasty, needle biopsies or cancer treatment injections. Interventional radiology is often used to treat conditions such as tumors, artery or vein blockages, uterine fibroids, back pain or gallstones.

Workforce Roles of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologists

The role of a radiologist includes collaboration, in the health care environment, with other health care professionals and the patients to develop the best treatment options for the patients. Howell (2012) says that importance lies with focusing on the patient when considering diagnostic or interventional radiology responsibilities, because it is the right thing to do. This is in addition to the fact that the role of a radiologist, along with patient-centered care, also includes maximizing profits and reducing costs. Moreover, there needs to be a balance between patients’ quality of care and running an efficient practice, because this is seen as the best business model in the role of radiologists (Howell, 2012).

According to Irirangi (n.d.), some of the work role responsibilities of diagnostic radiologists include (1) advising other doctors on determining appropriate methods of imaging for a patient, (2) training and supervising radiation technologists, (3) interpreting digital images and (4) performing biopsies. Diagnostic radiologists need to be knowledgeable about human anatomy, various diseases and conditions, medicinal indications and interactions, minor surgical procedures, medical laws and ethics, radiographic theory and new research.

According to Wexner Medical Center (n.d.), work role responsibilities of interventional radiologists include (1) treating diseases and conditions after diagnosis, and (2) performing minor surgical procedures that involve inserting small instruments into the patient’s body with the assistance of imaging techniques. The interventional radiologist is responsible for performing procedures such as angiography, angioplasty, embolization, gastronomy, intravascular ultrasound, stent placement, foreign body extraction, needle biopsy, blood clot treatment, catheter insertion and cancer treatment.

In addition to the above role requirements, both the diagnostic radiologist and the interventional radiologist must earn an MD degree, complete a four-year residency and most radiologists then become board-certified by the American Board of Radiology and seek additional specialized training (Wexner Medical Center, n.d.).

References

Howell, W. L. J. (2012). Radiology: Make It About the Patient. Diagnostic Imaging. Retrieved from http://www.diagnosticimaging.com/conference-reports/rsna2012/content/article/113619/2117006

Irirangi, K. T. H. (n.d.). Diagnostic Radiologist. Careersnz. Retrieved from http://www.careers.govt.nz/jobs/health-services/diagnostic-radiologist/about-the-job

Managed Care Organization (MCO). (n.d.). On BusinessDictionary.com. Retrieved from http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/managed-care-organization-MCO.html

MedlinePlus. (2012). Imaging and radiology. U.S. National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/007451.htm

Wexner Medical Center. (n.d.). Interventional Radiology. The Ohio State University  Wexner Medical Center. Retrieved from http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/patientcare/healthcare_services/xray_ct_mri/interventional_radiology/Pages/index.aspx

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