Add this to the Nobody-Applauded-But-No-One-Booed-Either file: American Medical Association President Dr. Peter Carmel says "the Affordable Care Act is a historic victory" and receives no reaction from attendees at the Radiological Society of North America's 97th Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting this week in Chicago.
Don't Bogart that brain, pass it around
Carmel then added that "like so many victories, it is imperfect." Both remarks were met with silence, but he did receive polite applause at the end of his talk. The loudest reaction from the audience was when Carmel, a pediatric neurosurgeon, elicited a few laughs while mentioning his wife, Dr. Jacqueline Bello, a neuroradiologist.
"She tells me it's her job to tell neurosurgeons where to go," Carmel said near the opening of his speech.
Carmel's appearance was preceded by a presentation from Dr. Gregory Sorensen, CEO of Siemens Healthcare North America. In discussing how technological advances are producing amazing pictures of the inside of the human body, Sorensen described how "3-D printouts" of the brain can be produced and he held up a two-piece plastic model of his own brain before giving it to the audience to pass around and marvel at. He said the brain is "a particularly relevant organ" for this technology because there is still so much about it that remains a mystery.
And although all this whiz-bang gadgetry is pretty neat, Sorensen noted that medical imaging is coming under increased scrutiny and pressure to show its value. He then asked a question that's probably asked by many visitors to the RSNA conference as they wander among the gigantic displays of expensive machinery: "Can we really make advances in human health with this?"
Before being ridden out of the McCormick Place convention center on a rail by an angry mob, Sorensen then explained how, along with other life-extending functions, medical imaging can play a major part in improving healthcare quality and patient safety by reducing diagnostic errors.
With that Sorensen ended his speech, and then he made an unusual audience request that I've never heard a speaker make before: "Can I get my brain back?"
Follow Andis Robeznieks on Twitter: @MHARobeznieks.
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