I’m a Doctor. No I’m a Radiolgist.

I’m a Doctor. No I’m a Radiolgist.

The Kind of Doctor that Looks at Scans!

So over the years I’ve noticed that the general public don’t really know what a radiologist is. Often the conversation goes along the lines:-

“So what do you do?”

“I’m a radiologist”

“Oh, as in one of those guys that take the x-rays?”

At this point I have two choices…let the person think I’m a radiographer (not that there is anything wrong with that) or go through the long explanation of what a radiologist is. My next answer depends on how much of a conversation I am willing to have…and as you can imagine, being a radiologist, I like to keep things short and sweet :-)

But seriously, I’ve been starting to wonder if this is a phenomenon that ONLY I go through. For example, the other day I was in the hairdresser. I wasn’t in the mood for much of a conversation as I was pre-on call. The hairdresser politely asked me what I do for a living. I went against my better judgement and came out with:

‘I’m a radiologist’

Unfortunately for the both of us, someone nearby started to run the hair-dryer (of all places!!!) and my hairdresser couldn’t hear the answer. I was a bit oblivious to the sudden change in background decibels to be honest. She then asked me again and I again I replied , but a little louder:


She looked at me blankly and then said:


I was (understandably) frustrated and yelled even louder:

‘I’m a DOCTOR!’

At that exact moment the hair-dryer had switched off and the whole room heard what I had said. Everyone turned to look at me…the Doctor in the room…and then another hairdresser cut her finger and there was blood everywhere!

This is where things took a turn for the worse. My hairdresser immediately took me over (with half my hair cut and looking like a plonker) and tried to get me to take a look at the gaping wound. I must admit, it’s been a while since I last did A and E and the cut wasn’t really that bad (or so I keeping telling myself) so to get myself out of this situation I said:

‘Oh, I’m not that kind of doctor, I specialise in X-rays and that kind of thing, but you should probably get a plaster on that, maybe see you GP if it doesn’t get better in the next few days’

Any of you lot been a similar situation? If you are embarking on a career in radiology, get ready to start explaining to people what it is you actually do…regularly…