2017 Top Doctor: Irina Nistor, M.D.

Written by Editorial Staff Category: Profiles Issue: April 2017
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Pediatric Radiology
Med School/Year Graduated: Weill Cornell Medical College, 1994
Years in Practice: 16

Pediatric radiology is clinically distinct from mainstream radiology, with its own board certification. In practice, how is it different?
Pediatric radiology involves one or two years of subspecialty training after the completion of the radiology residency. Many diseases are specific to pediatrics, and the imaging reflects the children’s constantly changing anatomy. The modalities and protocols used for imaging children differ from those for adults and take into consideration the patient’s age and size [and the] ability of the child to cooperate with the exam while reducing the radiation exposure.

What is the most gratifying part of your job?
I love working with children. They are genuine and fun. I find it very satisfying to be able to make the correct diagnosis and help any patient, but especially children, who have their entire lives ahead of them.

What compelled you to specialize in pediatric radiology?
I always enjoyed interacting with children and pediatricians. My mother is a pediatrician who just recently retired, and her love for pediatrics inspired me to choose this specialty. I also had wonderful mentors during my radiology residency at New York Hospital who made pediatric radiology fun and encouraged me to pursue this field.

Working with children presents its own challenges, but what about working with their parents?
Working with the parents is not a challenge for me. I like interacting with the patients’ families, explaining the procedures and imaging results. The children feel safer and calmer if their parents are present for the procedures [and] are informed and reassuring, which leads to better imaging studies and more accurate diagnoses.

Is there any research in your field that excites you right now?
I am interested in the research focused on developing new modalities and techniques to minimize or eliminate the radiation exposure in pediatric imaging.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I enjoy traveling, classical music and cooking, but mostly being with my family.

“If I wasn’t a doctor, I’d be...”
A kids’ clothes designer!