First trying to decipher a radiograph or MRI can be difficult. So far in vet school we have taken three courses that mainly dealt with diagnostic imaging, namely Radioanatomy in first year and second year’s Diagnostic Imaging as well as Skeletal Pathobiology. The process of learning and teaching requires a lot of patience, both on the part of us students and our professors. Training people to see something that “isn’t there,” something they are not accustomed to seeing, can be very challenging. I do not envy the job of our professors in that department but really do appreciate all they have taught us. Through attending lectures and looking at cases in student-directed learning sessions, we have slowly begun to see what needs to be seen.
I liken the process to The Matrix character Neo learning how to “see.” At first he cannot make any sense of what he was seeing; neither can the movie-going audience understand the green numbers and symbols that trickle down the black background. But lucky for us, the radiographic images we are tasked with interpreting do not move. It is enough of a struggle for me to differentiate an interstitial lung pattern from an alveolar one- how much more so would it be if the lungs were breathing on a non-still image! In offering acceptance to applicants, vet school administrations act like Morpheus. Those who take the red pill, making the decision to matriculate, have their work cut out for them. Let’s see how far the rabbit hole goes!