Dr. Shuman celebrates his retirement with the department, December 11th 2019

Dr. Shuman celebrated retirement with a party on December 11th.  The following is what he shared with those in attendance:

Song of a Swan

When I first came to UW Radiology  in the fall of 1978,  both Harborview and UWMC hospitals  were about one quarter their current size.  There was no Roosevelt Clinic,   no 9th and Jefferson,  no Eastside Clinic, no  SCCA, nor Northwest Hospital.   Radiology had a total of 3 plain films rooms,   2 fluoro rooms, one angio room,  one ultrasound unit that was compound (not realtime),  two gamma cameras,  and one water path head-only CT scanner  for the entire system. There was no MR and no PET.   We had 14 faculty and 9 residents.    Jim Rogers and I were the first fellows ever.

While it is pretty easy to think of the Department now  and realize  how it has grown in size  over the past 40 years,  it is much more important to think   about how Radiology    has grown in impact on the delivery of healthcare  over that time.    Our role now  with our 140 faculty , 100 trainees,  and 850 staff  is to be wise consultants,  managers of big data,   arbiters of cost effectiveness and impact,  educators for the future,   and scientists   pushing hard   on the frontiers of knowledge.

To  help us  with all of this we have a vital Mission,  we have  the powerful  Means to fulfill that mission,    and we have a Moral Imperative

Our Mission:

“To cure disease   and to relieve suffering   to  improve the health of the public.”

There can be no higher calling,   it is indeed  “sacred…”. By  that word  I mean    according to the definition of Webster:

uniquely important    or relevant,   unusually high   in value or impact…” 

Our Means

We know  the power of teams …. which can accomplish so much more  than any one of us.

We know  the importance  of evidence-driven  cost-effective  diagnosis and therapy, and that we create the evidence  thru our science.

We know that we are responsible  for cost-effectiveness, understanding that the best allocation  of scarce resources  is done by the expert users.

We know the importance of supportive education for the next generation  of providers.

And we accept the importance of our own wellness.  

These  all are our means.

Our Moral Imperative

It  is –   to live our mission  to the best of our ability,  because the powerful  tools we wield   can do so much good   for so many.

And it also is –   to create great experiences   for happy customers, because an unhappy  patient is a patient not  fully served by our power.

To all of our UW Radiology  family,   I urge you  to continue  taking our Moral Imperative,  using our powerful and readily available Means,  and drive forward with our Mission  to build that better healthcare future  which we all want   and can see  ahead of us.   Let the pace of change   over the next 40 years  totally eclipse  the change of the past 40 years.

I close with few words of thanks:

First, to my wife and constant support ,  Betsy –  thank  you for enduring   those 4 am  alarm clock awakenings   and  our 8 pm dinners,  while you offered wise advice and counsel  from your humane  and medical perspectives.

Next, I would like thank my personal team here  –  Betsy Munk,   Betty Lanman,  Dawn Vincic,  Andy Strickland,  and Janet Busey. There are two signs  of a great job.  First  –  when you are driving to work,  you can’t wait to get there. And second  – when you get there,   your team  feels like family. You have made both of those true  for me  for these past 16 years

And I thank all of you for your partnership  and your friendship.

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