StephensWorlds Collide
As I walked up to the historic Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in the Village of Pinehurst, NC, last month, I immediately was struck by the sharp juxtaposition of the past and the future. I was greeted by bellmen dressed like caddies from the early 1900s, wearing knickers and knee socks. Crystal chandeliers hung in the ornately decorated foyer, and a sign noted the time of afternoon tea. Looking out the window, I could see rocking chairs adorning the white-washed porches of the circa-1895 building. The pictures and portraits of renowned golfers from the past century lined the hallways. If I didn’t have vivid memories of the crowded LAX at 8 am lingering in my mind, I might have thought I mistakenly walked into another decade.

Yet, behind the hotel registration counter were new computers, fax machines, and printers. Banners sprinkled throughout the hotel announced that it would be hosting golf’s 2005 US Open in the spring. The most conspicuous anomaly, though, was that I was there to attend the 2004 North Carolina Biomedical Association symposium—an event highlighting some of the most technologically up-to-date systems in health care.

In fact, the first course I attended was Networking 101, a class about the sophisticated networking solutions used in health care facilities. As you well know, biomeds are now sometimes expected to service those systems, and I know some of you may have mixed emotions about the trend of information technology (IT) and biomed departments converging. Thinking about that eventual co-mingling of specialties, I realized that Pinehurst was a fitting place to host a high-tech symposium.

Like some biomeds, Pinehurst appears reluctant to give up traditions of the past. The hotel knows how to provide good old-fashioned service to its clientele. It takes pride in its Old World sensibility and reliability. Yet at the risk of turning into an abandoned relic, the hotel makes way for advances that clients expect at top-notch facilities, such as cable TV and high-speed Internet in the guest rooms.

In the same way, the biomed community is shifting and growing. While retaining your solid base in medical equipment service and management, many of you have incorporated new skills to adapt to technological demands. As an added benefit,

biomeds who embrace the technology trend may discover monetary advantages. Our compensation survey last month showed that those who

specialized in technology management earned an average base salary of $75,783 each year—that’s $13,265 more than the average radiology specialist.

While problems inevitably will arise as the union of biomed and IT proceeds, biomeds, like the Pinehurst resort, will continue to grow and change with the times and ultimately will flourish.

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kstephens@medpubs.com