Over the past few years, I have written about a variety of diverse issues affecting radiology and ultrasonography in particular. I have mainly focused on how we as radiologists as well as radiology and hospital administrators are turning our profession into a commodity without really realizing that we are doing so. We have entered a time when other specialties actually have a better model of how ultrasound should be performed and how those who do ultrasound should be interacting with patients to discuss results and counsel patients. Instead, all of us are so busy cranking out cases each day that we barely have time to scan let alone actually discuss with results with patients and it is understood that it is these cases that pay the bill for us, not the ensuing discussion with the patients which is why in part other departments become more successful all the time at performing ultrasound.
To a large degree, the commoditization of ultrasound has occurred within academics and among the editorial boards of various journals. Some recent experiences of my own as well as others in our field have reinforced the notion in my mind that in order to publish in ultrasound now, one needs to send articles to the clinical journal that will have the most interest in the work. Some get reviewed and described as very well done but of insufficient priority scores to warrant publication, whereas articles of far less interest to us regarding cancer staging algorithms are published instead and some journals that specialize in ultrasound to which articles are submitted have editorial boards comprised of nonradiologists and it is not always clear that articles written by radiologists will be treated appropriately. Yet these same articles when submitted to the appropriate clinical journals with far higher impact factors are accepted and promptly published because the audiences served by these clinical journals are more interested in ultrasound than radiologists. This is a troubling development for all of us.
Those of us within the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound should be aware of this trend, and whenever possible, we should try and be supportive of each other's work when reviewing for radiology journals because, if we do not publish ultrasound articles in our own literature, they can surely be published elsewhere and this will only reinforce the notion that ultrasound is not really a part of radiology anymore, but it is a clinical skill not only taught but written about by nonradiologists. We need to be the purveyors of advanced technology, create the demand for our services by applying the newest methodologies like elastography, contrast-enhanced ultrasound, and 3-dimensional imaging, and make ourselves invaluable not just to our physician colleagues, but especially directly to the patients who are so dependent on us for their diagnoses. Only in this way will radiology continue to be the center of excellence in ultrasound in academia as well as private practice.
That said, this month's issue features a wonderful review of the use of ultrasound for diagnosing pneumonia in children. The use of ultrasound in the diagnosis of chest disease is new to our specialty but has been written about for years in the pulmonary literature and is a classic example of what I am referring to when I say that other specialties have become more interested in ultrasound than we are. A pictorial essay regarding imaging of fetal congenital heart disease using 4-dimensional ultrasound and an original research article regarding the diagnosis of imperforate anus follow. Two articles related to gynecologic ultrasound in the diagnosis of Meigs syndrome and adenomyosis follow. Correspondence regarding fetal splenomegaly and literature reviews from outside of the radiology literature completes this issue.
Ultrasound Quarterly will be offering a review article, each issue written by a member of the immensely talented editorial board, and an ever increasing emphasis on editorial and opinion pieces by members of the society. As always, I am especially grateful to the editorial board and the members of the SRU who spend valuable time reviewing articles and ensuring the quality of the work that is published from around the world in our journal.