What advice does Wonder Woman have for radiology?

2021 12 06 21 23 7160 Wonder Woman 400

Radiologists can take two key tips away from the 1970s TV show Wonder Woman to improve their practice, according to an opinion piece published on 3 December in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

The article was written by a team led by Lynda Carter, the actor who played the superheroine from 1975 to 1979. The character became "a symbol of women's empowerment," wrote Carter and co-authors Dr. Elliot Fishman; Dr. Steven Rowe, PhD; and Dr. Linda Chu (all from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore). Wonder Woman embodied "empathy, intellect, peace, justice, and equality."

Carter's group described two important lessons radiology can take from Wonder Woman:

Women are effective role models. "Women can be strong leaders," the team noted. "However, the paucity of role models who are women remains a problem in medical fields that are traditionally dominated by men, such as radiology. Despite our progress in promoting gender equity in radiology, there remains a substantial gender gap in the radiology physician workforce, especially at leadership levels." It's important for women leaders to support the next generation, the group wrote.

Empathy is an antidote to burnout. At least a third of radiologists report burnout symptoms, caused by increased clinical demand -- which the COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified, according to Carter and co-authors. "We need to use our empathy superpowers to listen more and understand one another's challenges," they wrote. "We need to ... strive toward systemic and organizational changes with open dialogue among radiologists and practice leaders, to foster an environment of mutual trust, respect, and support."

Wonder Woman is regarded as one of the most beloved and iconic super heroes of all time, according to DC Comics. She has stood for around 80 years as a symbol of truth, justice, and equality to people everywhere.

Raised on the hidden island of Themyscira -- also known as Paradise Island -- Diana is an Amazon, like the figures of Greek legend, and her people's gift to humanity. She is "as beautiful as Aphrodite, as wise as Athena, swifter than Hermes, and stronger than Hercules," and she "fights for peace in a Man's World," DC Comics states.

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