I would like to add my vote for people who are good at what they do, and
are allowed to keep doing it. My impression is that there are still many
labs which want good vascular techs, period, and I'm grateful that I'm in
one of those. I feel in all modesty that I'm a fairly intelligent sort of
person, and I have my hands pretty full just being good at one specialty.
I've seen many folks cross-train, and it takes a very sharp (and very very
energetic) tech to do it well.

I've seen a few articles on the phenomenon Barton referred to: that
specialists get quite good at something (e.g., a particular surgery).
Imagine that. I think there may be some general movement toward recognizing
the effectiveness of encouraging specialization. I hope so. I'm the
beneficiary of this kind of specialization--a pair of surgeons who have
made a specialty of acoustic neuroma surgery and know what works. I'm

Finally, I will raise this unpleasant possibility, because I've seen it
more than once: Radiology departments may want to take over a vascular lab
because of--pardon my French--money. Our labs are often pretty good
money-makers for whatever department has them, and I think it must look
pretty tempting. Radiology departments tend to be politically powerful, and
to get pretty much what they want. I'm sorry if this seems divisive, but as
I say, I've seen it happen; turf battles are a nasty reality at some

May we endure as a distinct specialty; I like it that way, and I think it's
best for our patients.

Don Ridgway
Grossmont Hospital