Stepping into the Light: "Radiologist Dies Upon Immediate Exposure to Sunlight.”

“We can’t believe it, he left us far too young,” explained family medicine physician Miranda Sawyer, scrolling through X-rays as “Jack would’ve wanted.”  She continued. “His bright and shining face always kept us smiling. I mean that metaphorically, of course.  It’s always dark in Radiology. You could never see him.” For reasons unclear, Jack Lambert stepped outside at approximately 2:19 PM when the glowing orb known as the sun was still present.

“I can’t wrap my brain around it,” said a saddened and stymied fellow radiologist and friend, Joanna Homewood. “Everyone of us, Jack in particular, hates any kind of bright light, especially sunlight. That’s who we are. Just an hour before he stepped outside, someone briefly knocked the light switch on and Jack was the first one to risk his life and turn it back off. He was that kind of guy.”1

The humor of this satirical article does not mask the truth that it exposes. We all have our own experiences and interesting/funny stories about radiologists, or perhaps we don’t if our interactions with radiology have been limited to reports from anonymous radiologists working a thousand miles away in their homes while still in their PJ’s. Teleradiology does provide a much needed service for many practices, but for complex care such as cancer care, a much more full service radiology experience is required.  

The American College of Radiology launched the Imaging 3.0 initiative which provides a roadmap for better patient-centered care by promoting radiologists as expert consultants. The word “value” has consumed our practices, and there is no question that we need to continually improve and elevate the delivery of healthcare. Graduate medical education is also changing. The University of Massachusetts started a pilot program titled “Coming Out of the Dark,” which provides communication training in a variety of scenarios. These innovative and progressive advancements in our specialty will undoubtedly position us to better meet the needs of our patients and referring providers.

Clinically in GU oncology, we are all aware of the many new challenges we face with regards to the continuum of care from diagnosis to death.  New advances in radiopharmaceuticals and PET imaging are allowing us to detect disease much sooner and with better accuracy. And I am proud to say that we are now making more meaningful contributions in the therapeutic arena with the use of unsealed sources of radiation such as radium-223. This is opening the door to additional NM therapies in the future including a new era of theranostics.   

All of these great advancements do not occur without the collaboration with our colleagues and the only path to success includes a high level of coordinated care to deliver the greatest value to our patients. Communication amongst the entire multi-disciplinary team will be the key to our collective success. I am very proud to work at our cancer center in Arizona specifically because of the communication and team-based approach to cancer care. I am very proud to be a part of UroToday because we embrace this idea and facilitate the discussion of ideas and information across specialties.  

This month, we are very pleased to continue the path towards enhanced communication by announcing a partnership with the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) to host a series of lectures recorded by national and international experts on various topics in nuclear medicine. We hope the UroToday community takes advantage of this complimentary access which will hopefully spark discussion and positive change in our respective practices. 

About the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to raising public awareness about nuclear medicine and molecular imaging, a vital element of today’s medical practice that adds an additional dimension to diagnosis, changing the way common and devastating diseases are understood and treated and helping provide patients with the best health care possible.

SNMMI’s more than 15,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit

Written by: Philip Koo, MD, FACS, Division Chief of Diagnostic Imaging, Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center in Arizona, Gilbert, Arizona

Published Date: September 9th, 2017


1. Jack Lambert, Radiologist Dies Upon Immediate Exposure to Sunlight.  Gomerblog