Tomography.wordpress.com, or as it is also known by many as tomographyblog.com, is updated by a Hungarian medical doctor, dr. András Székely, who graduated at the University of Debrecen School of Medicine. His main area of interest is radiology including nuclear medicine, but he is open to all fields of medicine. This website was created for educational and entertainment purposes, and hopefully it will grow up to be more than just another ordinary blog one visits from time to time. It is however not to replace any advice or information from a health professional, but it is merely complementing it.
András and Imre (from left to right) at the PET/CT Center at The University of Debrecen Medical and Health Science Center.
Read our interview made by Tiromed.com, one the world’s largest medical communities:
Interview With Medical Bloggers Andras and Imre of Tomographyblog
Tomography.wordpress.com, or as it is also known by many as tomographyblog.com, is updated by two Hungarian medical students, Imre Kissik and Andras Szekely, who are studying at the University of Debrecen School of Medicine, and are going to become M.D.-s in just two years. Their main areas of interests are radiology and nuclear medicine, but are open to all fields of medicine, in fact, they both are working on their student scientific projects in the field of nuclear medicine.
TM: What is the Tomography blog? What do you typically blog about?
The history of Tomographyblog.com goes back into May of 2007, when I (Andras) registered this blog on the WordPress server after attending a lecture on the relationship between Medicine and Web 2.0. You may guess, that lecturer was Berci Mesko, founder of Scienceroll.com. I actually got really psyched on the idea of Web 2.0, because I felt that I was in the middle of a revolution. The whole idea of people coming together from different corners of the world, sharing ideas, and creating new web content was just too exciting to pass by. I also felt that this was an opportunity for me to study in a more creative way, and I also felt that I could help others learn more about my passion, namely radiology and nuclear medicine. Choosing a name was difficult, since it had to relate to both subjects. One must understand that even tough these two subjects are similar in many ways, they are also quite different. So, the name tomography came up. Tomography originates from the Greek “tomo” which means “to cut,” and since both of these areas of medicine have methods to virtually “slice up” the human body and then provide visual information, I settled for this name.
When the blog was up and running, and daily traffic began to rise, I realized that two people can make a blog at least twice as good, so I told Imre about my ideas during a trip to Bulgaria. During the summer we did not really post anything, so I put the birth of tomographyblog.com to September of 2007, when we purchased the domain name. Originally, I wanted to buy the domain name tomography.edu, but that was impossible as we found out later.
ANDRAS: Generally we blog about the advances in radiology and nuclear medicine. We have a weekly topic titled the “picture of the week,” where one can take a look at the posted images and then guess on the solution. This topic has just evolved into something bigger, because we were asked by the Department of Nuclear Medicine at The University of Debrecen to host their weekly quiz for fourth year medical students. If these students get all the answers right, they may be exempted from a practical final exam in nuclear medicine. We also take part in BPRRR (Bloggers for Peer Reviewed Research Reporting), which means that on a regular basis we read journal articles and briefly summarize them to our readers. In the future, we would like to start our own blogroll, but we do not have good enough name, yet.
IMRE: Tomographyblog is a (mainly) scientific blog about radiology and nuclear medicine, and in general anything about tomography; where I really mean everything. If I find something interesting about photography that somehow can be attached to medicine or to the related high-tech, I’ll post it. I always think in general, to have a comprehensive view. We bring the news, developments, whatever comes – that we find interesting, constructive. Of course the basis are very important, we try to fill up or link our blog’s knowledgement too. We plan to have a weekly coming case study section (too), wherewith we call everyone’s interested in diagnostic imaging – this project will hopefully grow up to be an international discussion spot of interesting/special cases.
TM: Usually we see blogs authored by one person. The Tomography blog is a two-person blog. What is it like co-authoring a blog and how are decisions made?
ANDRAS: As I mentioned before, I believe that together we can only make this blog better. Imi and I are never browsing the same web pages, nor are we reading the same journals, therefore in our case one plus one really equals two, and not just one and a half. We are classmates in school, so we meet everyday, and we always take a couple of minutes to talk about the blog, or what we are currently working on. In the future we hope to be colleagues as well, so this is a good practice of working together, and it is working out!
IMRE: Well, more heads, more thoughts, more ideas – hopefully better result:-). I think it’s this simple. Two can search, think and write more. If one is not available the other is ready at hand. Main decisions returned with both of us, posts usually written alone, so we give each other green light:-).
TM: Can you describe radiology and nuclear medicine in general? What do you find stimulating about these fields?
Radiology and Nuclear Medicine are both visual imaging modalities that help us look into a patient’s body, but their methods, tools, and indications are different. Let us not forget, that Nuclear Medicine used to belong, and in some countries it still belongs in Radiology. One may still find relatively new books with both subjects in their titles. So in general, the main point is that radiology is anatomic, and nuclear medicine is functional imaging. Radiology is transmission, nuclear medicine is emission. We personally find the idea of discovering lesions at a very early stage and with relatively little side effects to the patient very stimulating. Certainly, the diagnostic equipment, the fast computers and the unbelievable image quality are all appealing, but that is only the surface. Behind all that relies information that can help patients live a much higher quality life, or can actually save a person’s life!
TM: Bloggers are usually pretty vocal about predicting trends. What do you believe is the future of radiology and nuclear medicine?
ANDRAS: Trends? Hmm. That’s a tough one. Medicine in general is becoming more and more technology oriented. That is not a bad thing, if we use this technology right, but I believe that everybody is aware of that. I see that diagnostic imaging, such as radiology and nuclear medicine, will play an increasingly important role in the whole process of establishing diagnosis and treatment. It is not because medical education is worse than let us say 20 years ago, rather it is because of the increasing demand for precision. Today, it is important to know whether a cancer has metastised, and if so, where is the metastasis, how many are there, and how big they are. Or today we are not satisfied with preoperative CT or MRI scans, but the neurosurgeon wants to know during the operation whether he has cut deep enough into the tumor. These question could not be answered without diagnostic imaging. I believe it is too early to talk about all-in-one scanners, but maybe one day we will have a very futuristic looking know-it-all type machine. Until then, just trust a radiologist or nuclear medicine specialist near You.
IMRE: Well. Yes. Yet we don’t really deal with this trend thing, as we are at the beginning of our career and I personally find these sciences quite big to simply define one trend. And, honestly I do not really think we should name any, as all is important, paving the road to the future equipments and methods. The main interests of mine are innovative staging methods and imaging efficiency. If needed I would emphasize MRI, PET and ultrasound advance; and as an off topic: molecular medicine.
TM: You both are students in Hungary. What is medical study like in Hungary? Are you planning to practice in Hungary or practice abroad? Why?
ANDRAS: Medical education in Hungary takes 6 years right after high school, which I think is a bit too early for some. I attended high school and college in the States, so I see the difference between the two types of education, and I do not think one is better than the other, rather they are aimed at two different populations of students with different needs, and different backgrounds. I think that having students earn a B.S. degree before applying to med school has its gate keeping function, and allows students to explore their capabilities, but learning medicine in 4 years has to be tough! In contrast, making an 18-year-old high school senior decide if he wants to become a doctor or not, is way too early for today’s high-schoolers. A lot of them drop out in the beginning because they are not motivated enough, or find this area of science not suitable for them.
I would not mind working a couple years abroad, but I hope to work and live here in Hungary later. I have lived four years in the States, so I would try a Western-European country next, but if I do not get a chance to work abroad I won’t mind. I think it would be very useful for Imi and I to study a little bit abroad in a nuclear medicine department that is a bit better equipped than ours, where we could learn new things and help our department back home. Later, if I get an opportunity to work in our department, I will be happy.
IMRE: I have no US experience, so I only know hungarian study personally. Sorry! As far as I know hungarian medical education is strong.
Working abroad is among our plans. We find it important, as one could learn a lot and get new experiences. Some years could be very very useful! In the future I surely would like to work here at home.
TM: Please talk a little about web 2.0 and blogging in terms of how they will affect academic, clinical and professional medicine.
We think that not enough people are familiar with the whole idea of Web 2.0, nor RSS, nor Wikis, nor blogging. These all still have great potiencial in them. Web 2.0 is changing the way we acquire information as we speak, and will continue to do so. We are always amazed by how much some patients know about their own illnesses, and the depth of the questions they ask. How can a doctor be always one step ahead? By choosing her sources well and staying up-to-date. In a world where we are sometimes literally choked by the endless wave of scientific articles, it is not easy to sort out valuable information from the less important. Take RSS for instance, reading news daily have never been easier for us! And we are so thankful than once we complete a search on PubMed, the latest results to that search will come to us, and not the other way around!
We think that there are still too few personal medical blogs on the net. We have found a handful of those that deal with a doctor’s daily experience, but there are not enough. Students could learn so much by reading them, and maybe these posts would inspire them to find out more, and last but not least they could ask questions from pertinent people.
Virtual communities are an essencial part of Web 2.0, and medicine is no exception to that. How else could one find others working in related fields as he is from all over the globe in so little time if not by joining one. Tiromed is a leader, and tomographyblog.com is proud to carry its logo.
|Last updated: 24th of December, 2009|