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Montefiore in the News

May 31, 2012

General Public Often Unaware of Radiology Specialty and How it Impacts Treatment

New York City, NY (June 1, 2012) Meir Scheinfeld, MD, PhD, Attending Physician, Division Head of Emergency Radiology, Department of Radiology at Montefiore Medical Center, has created an interactive radiology teaching kit to introduce children to and educate them about the specialty of radiology in a fun, exciting and age-appropriate manner. Dr. Scheinfeld’s paper, entitled “Radiology goes back to school: presenting the face of radiology to school children,” highlighting the effectiveness of the kit in teaching kids about the fundamental importance of radiology in diagnosing a patient, appears in the May edition of Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Dr. Scheinfeld, Assistant Professor, Department of Radiology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, the University Hospital for Montefiore Medical Center, collaborated on the creation of this teaching kit with Laura L. Avery MD, Assistant Radiologist, Department of Emergency Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital. The goal of the kit is to build awareness of the specialty, as many people are unaware of what radiologists actually do and often do not know that they are highly trained doctors and experts in image interpretation.

Image courtesy of Meir Scheinfeld, MD, PhD & Laura L. Avery, MD

The kit consists of a variety of images of bones but also includes orthopantograms of teeth and ultrasound images of fetuses, allowing the doctors to speak about various disciplines within healthcare and educate children on broader topics, for example oral hygiene. Images of foreign objects lodged in the body are also shown to the children and they are asked to identify what the objects might be. By showing these images and explaining the circumstances that might lead to them, Dr. Scheinfeld provides important safety advice and also teaches children not to fear the hospital environment.

“For many people, radiologists are the unknown individuals who sit in dark rooms and take pictures,” said Dr. Scheinfeld. “Nearly half of patients receive some form of imaging when they visit the Emergency Room in order to get a diagnosis and we wanted to help children gain an understanding of the radiologists’ role in patient care. This teaching kit has allowed us to enlighten children about the science of radiology while engaging and entertaining them. We encourage other doctors to develop such a tool to educate children, from an early age, about the vital role of radiologists in healthcare.”

Dr. Scheinfeld created two customized teaching kits; one for preschoolers and one for early elementary school children. The kits include radiologic images of fractured and dislocated bones, as well as x-ray images of popular toys – Mr. Potato Head and Barbie – and various other objects including fruits, vegetables, items of clothing and animals. Games, such as skeleton assembly, where kids are given x-ray images of bones and prompted to create a complete skeleton, teach the children about the human body and keep them engaged as they learn.

For older children, Dr. Scheinfeld uses the kit to explain the differences between various modalities, CT scans, MRI and ultrasound and explains how these images are generated. He emphasizes the role of radiologists in detecting abnormalities and teaches the scientific and technical aspects of imaging as well as the medical aspects of arriving at a diagnosis.     

Dr. Scheinfeld is certified by the American Board of Radiology. He has published extensive research in peer-reviewed journals and presented at radiology conferences. Dr. Scheinfeld is a member of Radiological Society of North America, American College of Radiology and American Society of Emergency Radiology. He completed his Clinical Fellowship in Emergency Radiology at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School in Boston.