Dr Katherine Miszkiel, Consultant Neuroradiologist tells us about her diverse career, what she likes about working with DMC Radiology Reporting and how she found it an interesting and exciting opportunity that she wanted to be part of.
“The variety of work keeps you on your toes and DMC is so flexible and supportive.”
“I was always good at sciences at school”
I don’t come from a medical family. My parents, who were Polish immigrants, advised me to pursue a profession with a good career path, so I did my required A Levels and trained at the Southampton University Medical School from 1983-1988 and qualified with a Bachelor of Medicine with Distinction in Clinical Medicine.
“I am proud to have received Awards for my work”
I was awarded the Altounyan and Millard Prize and the Edith and Herbert Newitt Medical Prize. Working with the respiratory team in the 4th year, I carried out a research project which resulted in the manufacturers of asthma inhalers having to reconfigure the composition as the preservative used caused paradoxical bronchoconstriction; I presented the results at the British Thoracic Society meeting in Edinburgh in 1987.
“My passion is carrying out procedures”
I started my post grad career in London, with a 2 year SHO medical rotation which included 6 months at Guys Hospital doing neurology, which I found fascinating. What I really liked was carrying out procedures such as lumbar punctures.
“The radiologists at Guys were always really happy and enjoyed their work”
I noticed how happy and chatty the radiologists were, compared to other medical specialties. It was this environment that inspired me to pursue radiology.
“I joined the specialist register for Clinical Radiology in 1998”
I started at UCLH NHS Trust in 1998 as a Consultant Neuroradiologist at the National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery (NHNN) and at Moorfields Eye Hospital in 2000.
“I have published over 80 research papers”
I’m regularly invited to speak at meetings in the UK and lecture annually on MSc programmes at Moorfields and NHNN.
“I have worked with DMC Healthcare since 2014”
I’ve known the DMC Clinical leads for a long time having worked with them previously. We get on very well and I was asked if I’d like to join the DMC reporting team. It sounded like an interesting and exciting opportunity that I wanted to be part of.
“I took it on as additional work – it’s so flexible”
I let them know my evening or weekend capacity and they send over a list of scans to report. I work 4 full days in my NHS job, in other institutions and am also the Training Programme Director for the Pan-London neurology training scheme; therefore, I started off doing a few hours reporting in the evenings, twice a week.
“I’ve never had a negative experience at DMC”
“My role has evolved into auditing the accuracy and quality of neuroradiological reports ”
As the needs of the company evolved and more radiologists were joining, they needed someone to audit a proportion of their scans. This is vital work to make sure DMC is maintaining very high quality, accurate reports and thus patient safety. As a very senior neuroradiologist it was an appropriate role for me to take on.
There are many benefits working at DMC:
- Easy communication – There is a very good robust way of communicating unexpected findings and you know things will be actioned.
- Great variety of work – Sometimes work in the private sector may not be “so exciting” but because you are providing outsourcing for NHS Trusts, there will always be a wide variety of pathology.
- Flexible, tailored workload – They tailor the workload they assign to you and are very understanding of your availability and commitments.
- Excellent IT support – They set me up with the equipment at home and I always get a prompt response to any queries.
- Prompt payment – I’ve never had to chase.
- Governance – The governance mechanisms are set up very well.
DMC’s rates are certainly higher than a lot of other companies I’m aware of. They are not always complex cases, so you can get through a reasonable amount of work which enables you to build up your fees. The clinical directors regularly review those fees to make sure they are fair.
"I’m approaching retirement at 60 but I don’t intend to give up"
In time I will think about scaling back certain aspects of my job. With technology changing and AI taking a much bigger role, you must also let the new generation play a bigger role in the development of the speciality.
"I would advise juniors to build up their portfolio of private work"
That may mean working for different companies or institutions. It’s easier to build it up and scale it back in later years if your circumstances change.
"For retirees my advice is to consider DMC"
It’s something that may prove very useful as you get older. You don’t have to completely give up your clinical work and can carry on being busy and using your skills. We need skilled specialists in outsourcing companies to provide high quality work.
"I’ve really enjoyed working with DMC"
I’ve been able to feedback very freely to the Clinical Directors who really do care about the direction of the company and making it good for staff and good for patients. It’s not all about the dollar bills. They have established a really good reputation and know what’s required to make it a success because they are busy working radiologists in the NHS and academia.