We ask Mike Otte, MD about the best parts of working in radiology.
How, when and why did you decide to pursue a career in medicine?
I knew early on that I wanted to be a physician. I always had an interest in science. I was recruited to play football at [the] Air Force [Academy], but ended up not attending a service academy due to the difficulty in pursuing medicine in the armed forces. My subsequent interactions with the team physicians while playing football at the University of Nebraska solidified my choice of career.
What do you like most about your job?
During the course of my career, I have learned that the most satisfying part of my job lies with taking care of people. Patients have little idea whether their imaging will show a fracture, ligament injury, tumor, or even whether it may be normal. The ability to directly impact their care and their appreciation is what drives my work satisfaction. The anatomy and physiology science is intellectually really interesting, but it’s ultimately about patients.
What is your favorite way to spend free time?
My wife Marnie and I really enjoy the Colorado lifestyle. Our three dogs — including a Saint Bernard — and our network of friends make us happy. We don’t even always take advantage of all Colorado has to offer in hiking, skiing and outdoor activities, but there aren’t many places better than Colorado for weather. We golf and travel occasionally but are always happy to return home.
What do you like most about working at RIA?
The radiologist physicians at Radiology Imaging Associates never cease to amaze me. The professionalism is beyond what patients and even most referral physicians realize. It adds tremendous value to patient care to have experienced experts using the most advanced equipment making their opinions on disease states or — maybe even more important — lack of disease. “Negative” is as important of an impression on imaging as a positive finding. It takes expertise and experience to differentiate the two. The RIA radiologists realize that, even with all the technical equipment and telehealth becoming vogue, we still have to see patients in person, interact with other physicians and contribute to the medical community.