Like the industry, the new guy looks for people to turn to

Last summer, I received a behind-the-scenes tour of the famed Capitol Records building. No public tours are offered, but this being Hollywood, I knew someone who knew someone who managed to get me in to the legendary tower that looks like a stack of old LPs perched above a turntable.

To understand how meaningful this was to me, you need to understand that music is and always has been central to my life. I can’t play a note, but I sing, have an extensive music collection, and have met and written about a host of artists. So, like a kid in a candy store, there I stood in the basement-level recording studios with Nat King Cole’s piano and the microphones that captured Ella Fitzgerald’s voice. For a few minutes, I was able to sit in the straight-back stool that Frank Sinatra used when he was recording in Studio A.

It was inspiring, humbling, and a little scary to be standing in such shadows.

I was thinking about that day, those feelings, as I sat down to write my introductory column, with Dexter Gordon blowing “Who Can I Turn To” on the iPod. In many ways, I feel the same today.

Cheryl Proval, who you’re accustomed to reading in this space, has decided to scale back her duties here. Cheryl will continue her association with Axis Imaging News and our sister publication, Medical Imaging, as our business editor. She also will write “The Last Word” column in the back of this magazine as well as other features as time permits.

Once again, I find myself in a shadow. I come here with more than 20 years of publishing experience. My most recent position was as an editor and technology columnist for a Southern California business journal, and previously, I was business editor of the Los Angeles Daily News.

It’s a dynamic time to come aboard: The economy is taking its toll on health care costs. “Do more with less” has become the order of the day. The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 is just now beginning to make its impact known. Like many other industries, outsourcing is an emerging topic, but teleradiology presents as many questions as it does answers. As you’ll read in this month’s edition, there is growing interest in subspecialty interpretation, but, again, many questions are raised about affordability and access. Training, recruiting, and retaining professionals are a constant worry. Software and technology are forever evolving.

The classic business model is changing, and rapidly so. This month’s summit of the Radiology Business Management Association will be filled with sessions addressing some of the many issues facing medical imaging. Our cover story features RBMA Board President Gregory M. Kusiak and a preview of his plans to do some research—and maybe even a little organizational soul-searching—to better understand the issues confronting the industry and expand the group’s reach. Look for additional stories from St Louis on our Web site and the Medical Imaging Web site.

The whirlwind of change is a lot for anyone to handle. As for me, I’m submersing myself in reading about the field. I have had conversations with several members of our Editorial Advisory Board and a few readers, too, and I look forward to having more.

You are the people I can turn to. I’m looking forward to hearing your ideas, your tips, and even your complaints, although I hope not to give you much to complain about. I do hope to give you a lot to think about. The goal of Axis Imaging News has been to identify issues and provide information to address them. That won’t change. Some things will change—the media are faced with many of the same business issues as the medical-imaging field. But through it all, the entire staff is committed to timely news and in-depth features that enlighten.

We are the ones you can turn to.

Dan Anderson
Editorial Director