Larry, Karol, Leo, Theresa, Thomas, and Margaret on the beach of Lake Michigan
Larry, Karol, Leo, Theresa, Thomas, and Margaret on the beach of Lake Michigan

Laurence J. Eckel MD
Professional Title: Associate Professor of Radiology
Locale: Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Fellowships:  Neuroradiology
ASPNR member since 2008

ASPNR: What attracted you to pediatric neuroradiology?
Larry Eckel: I was attracted to pediatric neuroradiology by the outstanding clinical colleagues who encouraged me to develop greater expertise and my neuroradiology colleagues who helped support my efforts in that regard.

ASPNR: Do you have a colleague or mentorthat inspired you in your career?
LE: Gesina Keating, a pediatric neurologist, was my primary inspiration early on in my academic career.  In radiology, I had many outstanding mentors, but the ones that come to mind are retired colleagues such as Mike Kiely, Paul McGough, and Greg Aughenbaugh.

ASPNR: What is your favorite part of your job?

LE: My favorite part of the job is helping clinical colleagues provide the very best patient care possible.  There is nothing better than feeling like you contributed, in some meaningful way, to the quality care of a patient and their family.

 ASPNR: What is the biggest challenge of your job?

LE: Keeping up.  It is impossible to know everything exquisitely well (tumors, infections, developmental anomalies, epilepsy, stroke, trauma, normal variants, etc.), layered upon anatomy (brain, head & neck, spine), superimposed upon new developments and innovations (MR sequences, genomics, etc.).

 What challenges or uncertainties do you see on the horizon for pediatricneuroradiology?

LE: Time management.  We need the appropriate amount of time with each patient to provide the best care possible.  We need time to interpret images, keep up with the latest developments and journals, and stay in contact with colleagues.  All while trying to manage other professional duties and personal obligations.  Everyone wants to take time from us; we need to make sure we keep time to ourselves for the benefit of our patients, colleagues, and families.

 ASPNR: What words of wisdom would you pass onto your junior attending self?

LE: Make friends in the profession, where you work and where you don’t.  They will help you become a better radiologist, introduce you to clinicians, mentor you in your development, and make every part of your life more enjoyable.

ASPNR: What was your childhood dream job?

LE: To be an accountant.  I wonder if that says more about my personality than anything else on this spotlight!

 What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

LE: That I’m shy.  None of my friends believe it, but it’s true!

ASPNR: Will you be attending the 2020 ASPNR meeting in South Beach?

LE: Of course!  Please stop and say hello.  The more we know each other, the more we can help each other and our patients.