Polyclinic radiologist sees athlete from slope to scanner

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SALT LAKE CITY - Dr. Josh Farber may be the only radiologist at the Polyclinic who witnessed his patient in action before she became his patient.

"I was actually at the Super G (women's giant slalom skiing) race and I saw this young female skier, I saw her bomb her knee," said Farber, who is an attending physician in the musculoskeletal imaging section at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis.

"I didn’t really think I’d see her in the Polyclinic, but I wasn’t totally surprised when she came in. She pretty much had a career-ending injury. She sheared off her articular cartilage."

On the other hand, Farber was surprised that in a pool of about 20 patients who showed up at the Polyclinic on his second day, there weren't more of these Super G athletes. Count Farber as yet another physician who is impressed by the Olympians' fortitude.

"I saw some pretty bad wipeouts at the Super G, so I thought I’d see more of those people coming in, but they didn’t. It’s amazing what these people will endure. That one skier, she hurt herself at the top of the run. You could see it. But she still finished the run," he said.

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The resiliency of Olympic athletes has impressed Indiana University radiologist Dr. Josh Farber.

In addition to acute injuries, Farber said he’s also read plenty of films that aren’t so different from what he sees in daily practice. However, working with patients who are enthusiastic about the imaging experience is another matter.

"We had one gentleman, a luge (slider), he’s had three MRIs in the last two days on various body parts," Farber said. "He was a self-referral. He just walked in and said ‘This hurts and that hurts.’ So we scanned it."

Like the radiologist who preceded him at the Polyclinic, Farber said the workload at the facility isn’t nearly as hectic as a day at his home institution. He has enjoyed having the time and luxury to try out different scan techniques when the equipment is free, and to talk shop with his fellow radiologists.

"The busy part so far is, when an athlete has an injury, trying to get the message across to all the people concerned," he said. "You tend to go over the same information, and that’s the time-consuming part. The bigger the athlete, the bigger their entourage, so you have to repeat the information." Still, Farber acknowledged that others at the Polyclinic have surely had more to contend with.

"I think the busiest guy down here is the dentist," he said. "Everybody wants to get their teeth fixed."

By Shalmali Pal
AuntMinnie.com staff writer
February 22, 2002

Copyright © 2002 AuntMinnie.com

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