Stefan Tigges, MD, MSCR
Undergrad Institution; Degree and Major:
1984, BA German at Emory University – Atlanta, GA
1988, Emory University – Atlanta, GA
Where and for how many years did you train AFTER medical school?
In practice since:
How did you choose your Specialty?
I like looking at pictures, so radiology was a natural fit. It’s also very structured, with a standardized approach for evaluating each type of imaging procedure. I suppose I need pretty pictures and structure.
What do you like MOST, and like LEAST, about your specialty?
Most: Believe it or not, we spend most of our time in Radiology helping to care for patients. During a typical day, a Radiologist may review images on over 150 patients. At Emory and Grady some of these patients are among the sickest people in the state. You can really have a positive impact on a lot of people. The amount of mind-numbing documentation in Radiology is low, so most of your time is spent caring for patients instead of placating bureaucrats.
Least: In an academic setting, Radiology can occasionally be lonely: sometimes a giant team of Internists or Surgeons sweeps in and I may be the only Radiologist in the room. Sad!
In your opinion, what attributes are important in anyone choosing this specialty?
Most Radiologists have little or no direct patient contact, so unless you go into a subspecialty like Interventional Radiology or Mammography, you have to be OK with that. On the other hand, we consult with referring clinicians about their toughest cases every day, which compensates for the lack of patient contact. You have to like technology and enjoy keeping up with the latest hardware and software developments, but you don’t have to be technology whiz.