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The Invention that Changed Diagnostics

Updated August 3, 2022
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The Invention that Changed Diagnostics essay

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Things in the medical field are ever-changing. There are always new practices and ideas coming about, along with new cures, vaccines and inventions. Today, almost all hospitals are 100% electronic, and if they are not they are very close (Westveer). In 1977, Dr. Raymond Damadian performed the first full body scan using NMR — Nuclear Magnetic Resonance. This was the basis for what we know today as the Magnetic Resonance Imaging machine also known as the MRI (“Timeline of MRI”) MRI is a crucial way to diagnose many different things in many different subspecialties of medicine. MRI scans are necessary, especially in cardiology and oncology. The MRI is a vital machine in the field of cardiology and all of medicine because it is key in diagnosing cardiomyopathy, stun heart muscle, and different sorts of cancerous tumors.

There are many different careers in the medical field. There are nurses, nurse practitioners, technicians, and of course doctors. Doctors have the most education and training, essentially making them the boss. Doctors mostly treat and diagnose, they do not take blood and heart rates. In order to become a doctor, one must obtain a bachelor’s degree in any field and then go on to complete another 4 years at a medical school. Of course it is difficult to get into these medical schools so it is good to have a high GPA, high Medical College Admission Test score, extra-curricular activities, and volunteer experience During the first two years of medical school, one will typically be in class and doing coursework. The last two years will be clinical rotations in basic medicine like Obstetrics and Gynocology (OB/GYN), pediatrics, and surgery Medical school only teaches the basics of common medicine so in order to become a specialty doctor a residency and a fellowship is required (Westveer).

A residency is additional training after medical school that allows you to practice a subspecialty like oncology or cardiology. These residencies are normally two to six years. A resident is a licensed doctor, he or she is just not trained in a subspecialty. After completing this residency program, the resident must take an exam given by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABSM for short). After passing one of these tests, the resident will become “board certified,” allowing him or her to practice. Although it is not a necessity to become board certified, many employers will look for that when hiring. After a residency, a fellowship is often needed. A fellowship is where one will work under a head of the department in the field he or she is specializing in. This can last however long one would like (Westveer). ln hospitals, particularly, hours can be very flexible.

Most of the time, a doctor can decide how many hours a week he or she will work. A “full-time” doctor will typically work about 60 hours per week. Of course, running a private practice can be harder and one will most likely work more. Today, many doctors are not salaried; they are paid in relative value units, RVUs. Relative value units are a formula that determines how a doctor is paid, Performing an echocardiogram (EKG) can be one RVU, while seeing a patient for the first time can be six. Many doctors will earn about $30-$40 per RVU, and the average is about 4 RVUs per hour.

So the general “salary“ for a full-time doctor working 50 weeks per year would make about $420,000 at $35 per RVU and 4 RVUs per hour (Westveer), Speaking to someone in the field, there are many positive aspects to being a doctor, but one specific one is seeing how much different a patient is after they get better. Some doctors will have the same patients for 30 years and it is enjoyable and rewarding to see them increasingly get better because that doctor is the reason for it. The hours are not especially horrible either. One can pretty much decide how much and how long he or she would like to work. Another positive is that this profession can be very academically challenging, Sometimes, a patient may have a problem and one could be completely unsure of what is wrong. They must rack their brain and look to reference materials to find the source or problem (Westveer). There are not many negatives to being a doctor. One, however, is being on call. Having to come into work and deal with a patient or give an emergency surgery can be stressful and exhausting, especially in the middle of the night, Another negative is that insurance companies and coverages are always changing It is a hassle to try and keep up with all the changes In order for certain tests to be covered, some must be preapproved by the insurance companies which can keep patients waiting.

Overall, there are more positives than negatives (Westveer).  In the field of cardiology, there is an association called the College of American Cardiology (ACC). As a member of this association, you get many benefits. There are all sorts of different conferences, workshops, and online courses At any given time in the United States there is at least one conference a week put on by the ACC To develop and continue practicing, doctors must get Continuing Medical Education (CME) hours. The state of Michigan requires 150 of these every three years [0 continue practicing (Westveer). There is a lot of technology that is used in the medical field MRls and ultrasounds are used to diagnose. Many surgeries are now done robotically. Not only are the machines used technologically advanced but so is the way that patient charts and records are kept. Even the way certain blood tests are run are through computers and machines. This technology is not always helpful, thought Every hospital and practice is different the way they keep charts and records, but at Beaumont, everything is 100% electronic. Technology is used every day and multiple times a day at every practice, private or hospital (Westveer)

The MRI machine is very big in medicine, especially in diagnosing. The MRI machine was not just automatically invented, there were many things that happened before that lead to the MRI’s creation, Before magnetic resonance imaging, there was nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) which is very similar. This concept was discovered in the 19305 and is based off magnetic and radio waves that give off signals (Bellis), Raymond Damadian is credited for inventing the MRI because he started using magnetic resonance to locate tumors and determine what kind of cells were present. He was the one who originally used this concept for diagnostic purposes, specifically benign (noncancerous) and malignant (cancerous) tumors.

In 1980, the first commercial featuring a full body scanner was aired with Damadian and the first Magnetic Resonance manufacturer (“Timeline of MRI”). In 1971, when Damadian first made his discovery about NMR detecting cancer without invasive surgery, people were skeptical. An article was published in the New York Times about Damadian‘s discovery. Many doubted him and did not think it was possible (Altman) Little did they know that it would become one of the most crucial technological advances in medicine. Another article was posted in 1981 about the MRI (at the time NMR scanner) being safer than x» rays and CAT scans because they do not give off the harmful waves (Wingerson). This let people know that the MRI was safe and could be very useful in the medical world. When the MRI first came into play, people were excited about this revolution in medicine, but some were excited for this new opportunity to make money. FONAR, the manufacturer for the first MRI, became a public company, allowing people to hold stock. People invested in the MRI because it is such an expensive machine and it is costly to run the tests. Many think if a company sells something expensive, the stock must do really well and make a lot of money, However, that is often not the case and it was not with the MRI. An article was written in the New York Times about how the MRI Industry was a “shakeout” (Rosenthal) meaning that i_1 was ……. This is expected since a tool that is for medical advancement should not be used to make money. The MRI definitely has had an impact in medicine and diagnosing. According to Dr. Westveer, “The MRI is great,”.

This is because the MRI offers a clear precise image, much clearer than an ultrasound. With an MRI, one can tell the difference between healthy heart muscle and “stun” heart muscle, muscle that is not dead but will appear dead when looking at it through surgery. An MRI is a very efficient way to determine the different kinds of cells in tumors also, if they are cancerous or not. A negative to this machine is the cost MRIs cost hundreds of thousands of dollars whereas a simple ultrasound machine costs much less than that. Not only is the machine itself expensive, but the tests are costly to insurance companies (Westveer). Another negative aspect of the MRI machine is that it is so big it is not portable. Sometimes, it can be hard to move a patient, whether they are extremely sick or they are paralyzed. There is also a weight limit on these machines, so extremely overweight people cannot get one. Whatever the case may be, having to move a patient to the MRI is a hassle. An ultrasound machine is portable so you can bring it to the patient, but the ultrasound does not give you such a clear image or show you the difference between the different sorts of tissue.

Therefore, an MRI is still better than the ultrasound (Westveer). Without the MRI, tissues, tumors, and muscles would go misdiagnosed. During surgery, a heart muscle can look like it is dead to the human eye; an MRI can tell you that it is not. The MRI has diagnosed many patients and without it they could never have been treated. This machine is less than 40 years old so there is still much room for improvement, like making a portable machine and finding a way to make it less expensive. Cardiology is considered one of the most necessary specialties in the medical field. Aside from the brain, the heart is the vital organ that keeps your blood pumping. Without the heart, one could not live. The MRI has been very useful to this field. Although Damadian’s original intention for the MRI was detecting tumors and tumor cells, now the MRI can diagnose cardiomyopathy and plenty of other conditions throughout the body, Without the MRI life would be challenging and medicine would not be the same.

 Works Cited

  1. Altman, Lawrence K. “New York Researcher Asserts Nuclear Magnetic Technique Can Dectect Cancer, but Doubts are Raised.” New York Times. The New York Times Company, 21 July 1977. Web.
  2.  Bellis, Mary. “Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI.” About Money. About.com, n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2015 Damadian, Raymond. “Tumor Detection by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance,” Science. American Association for the Advancement of Science, 19 March 1971. Web. 23 Oct, 2015
  3.  Liao, Steve L,, and Mario J. Garcia. “Chapter 12. Diagnostic Decision Making Using Modern Technology.”
  4. Hurst’s The Heart, 13s. Eds. Valentin Fuster, et all New York: McGraw-Hill, 2011. n, pag. AccessMedicine. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.
  5.  Rosenthal, Elizabethr “MR1. Scanner Industry Faces a Shakeoutr” New York Times The New York Times Company, 10 Dec, 1993, Web. 30 Oct. 2015 “Timeline of MRI.“
  6. Fonar. n.pr mi. 23 Oct. 2015 Westveer, Doug. Personal lntewiew, 20 Oct, 2015
  7.  Wingerson, Lois. “Magnetic Scanner May Supplement Some X-Rays.” New York Times. The New York Times Company, 18 Aug, 1981. Web. 30 Oct. 2015
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