The following is an article from The Annals of Improbable Research, now in all-pdf form. Get a subscription now for only $25 a year!
by Mike Dubik, MD, and Mark Burnett, MD
We set out to determine if natural light held benefits for radiology, particularly for the reading of
ordinary radiographs (x-rays).
The Known Benefits of Natural Light
Natural light has uses in many branches of medicine. Dermatologists know that many skin conditions are best viewed under natural light. Psychiatrists are familiar with the anti-depressive effect of natural sunlight. There are countless other examples. Radiologists, however, traditionally use fluorescent lighting in rooms that have no windows.
As an experiment, we brought an armful of randomly selected x-my films to the beach on a sunny day.
The benefits of this environment were immediately obvious to both of us. The films looked better, and so did we. Indeed, we felt better.
We are convinced that our x-ray reading skills were augmented by the bright natural light (see figure above, and also the figure on the Front Cover). And although we had to use sunscreen, and occasionally had to don sunglasses (making for a single-shaded study), we are now committed to doing all of our radiological work at the beach.
This article is republished with permission from the May-June 1998 issue of the Annals of Improbable Research. You can purchase back issues of the magazine or subscribe to receive future issues, in printed or in ebook form. Or get a subscription for someone as a gift!
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