bayer.radiology.com (brc): Why did you become a radiologist?
Prof. Dr. Tatjana Stošić-Opinćal: I did not plan to become a radiologist. My first day of practice after medical school was in the angio department, and since then I was hooked to neuroradiology. I worked in the emergency department for ten years, and for 15 years in the Clinical Center of Serbia in Belgrade before I changed to a private general hospital. But I never lost sight of my academic career. I worked up my way to become a professor. Education and teaching is very important to me.
brc: On what level is neuroradiology in Serbia?
Stošić-Opinćal: We strive to apply the newest techniques of modern medicine, that is, for example, to have the newest MRI machines, CT and angio devices. But this is only one part. I, as the president of the Serbian society of neuroradiologists, aim to reach a very high level of education of the students.
brc: How do you achieve this high level of radiologic education?
Stošić-Opinćal: For example, I invite prominent speakers and professors that I meet during congresses to come to Serbia and give lectures, so to inspire my students. I want them to make good use of the information for their own scientific work. I see this as my most important work for the Society. When I started, we only had few members. Now we are more than a hundred.
brc: Do you have a balance between female and male neuroradiologists in Serbia?
Stošić-Opinćal: Actually, we have more female neuroradiologists than men. One of the reasons may be that we use new technologies and less radiation nowadays. Before, women might not have felt comfortable with the prospect of working with radiation. Moreover, the job is interesting, and radiologists are also admired for their work.
brc: How does the health system work in Serbia?
Stošić-Opinćal: Most people are publicly insured – that is, when they have a work contract. Private insurance is very rare. There are four very good clinical centers and several excellent hospitals in Serbia. However, some people decide to go to private hospitals or imaging centers because otherwise they would have to wait too long for an examination. I think this is a similar problem in some other European countries.
brc: How is the team work in Serbian hospitals?
Stošić-Opinćal: Working in teams is normal in Serbia. We have regular meetings with surgeons and with neurologists. We consult the interesting cases. We try our best.
Nevertheless, we still do not have the same possibilities as other European countries.
brc: How do you rate the relationship between radiologist and patient?
Stošić-Opinćal: If you work in a public hospital, there is very little to no contact to the patient. In a private hospital, the radiologist sees the patient and discusses his or her case. However, talking to the patient is mandatory in interventional radiology both in public and private hospitals.
brc: Belgrade is your home town. What fascinates you about it?
Stošić-Opinćal: The position of Belgrade is very interesting. It is charmingly situated at the two rivers Sava and Danube, and we have the architecturally new Belgrade on one site of the Sava, while the historical part is situated on the other site. Belgrade’s history is very lively, we have long been considered to be the border between orient and occident. I hope you have a chance to meet some Serbian people and experience our hospitality.
About Prof. Dr. Tatjana Stošić-Opinćal
Tatjana Stošić-Opinćal specialized in neuroradiology after her medical studies. She became a professor of radiology at the medical faculty of the university of Belgrade in 2011. She is the president of the Serbian Society of Neuroradiologists (Utruzenje Neuroradiologa Srbije) and a national delegate of the European Association of Neuroradiologists, as well as a member of the European Society of Neuroradiologists, the European Society of Radiology and the Radiological Diagnostics Section of Serbian Medical Society. Moreover, she is an honorary member of the Slovenian Association of radiologists. Currently, she works as the director of the Radiology Department at the private General Hospital Euromedik in Belgrade.