While in my radiology elective, I had a chance to spend some time in the interventional radiology suite. If you have read my bio, you may remember that I’ve expressed a long time interest in the field. So, as you can imagine, I was pretty excited to finally see my potential career in action.
To be completely honest, I was slightly underwhelmed at my first exposure. I saw a few abscess procedures and some ultrasound guided biopsies. I even saw an IVC filter placement. For some reason, I just wasn’t super impressed. When I was reflecting on it, I realized that I was comparing interventional radiology to surgery. I had this idea in my mind that interventional radiology was like surgery where you had to be meticulously clean, had your own OR and command over a team. When I got rid of this comparison, I started to appreciate interventional radiology for what it was. Interventional radiologists are able to reach areas by traversing through veins and feeding larger catheters into smaller ones. It’s actually incredible. They are able to do embolizations, cancer ablations, targeted drug delivery, and much, much more through this method.
I also thought it was cool that the interventional radiologists had their own suite. They worked as an insular team, tackling the procedures of the day. One thing I loved about the IR team was how awesome they were to each other. Everyone was super nice and willing to teach. This atmosphere of camaraderie was certainly a breath of fresh air!