Anything Left-Handed > Blog Posts > Lefty info > Lefthanders occupations > Left handed radiologists

Left handed radiologists

A radiologist friend noted yesterday the 3 of 4 radiologists in his medical group are left-handed, as are 3 of 4 radiological technicians in their employ. He also noted that American surgeons are rarely (in his experience) left-handed, as virtually all of the tools and equipment presume right-handedness

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Posted in Lefthanders occupations, September 2010

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35 comments on “Left handed radiologists
  1. Skylar says:

    I’m a machinist in TX.starting in 03 at age 15 in a manual machine shop. I started to notice who was what. i spent four years working there, expanding my knowledge in a skilled trade that to this day i still do for a living. In those four years i seen several people come and go, I should mention one of the three guys I spent a lot of my time with for a couple years was left handed. I recall majority of people being hired at least 10-12 throughout that span being right handed. Only two lefties if my mind serves me right. Moving in 07 the two lefties were still employed there, along with maybe five of the other guys hired through out that time.I moved from that town, to a bigger city trying my hand at CNC machining in roughly 08 in a more of a production style shop, starting as an operator, in the next several years my job for this company had changed i know was responsible to set up, proof the program, and run the first part insuring part to print was correct, it wasn’t until i started working with the CAD, and engineers of the company i noticed any left handedness. Ive recently moved to the opposite side of TX. Still doing setting up, editing and producing a quality part on CNC machinery Getting gradually more complex over the years. Know me and a few others share the same responsibilities on different parts but, im the only lefty out of the bunch. My career has also become my hobby, picking up other skills involved in the trade and being involved with throughout my life, i don’t remember many welders being left handed either. just commenting me on mine. Ive always found this intriguing, until now know where to share. My mother who also is left handed has been a nurse for 20+ years fasinating considering all of the medical field related comments. Skylar

  2. Angela says:

    where I work 3 out of 5 are lefthanded

  3. Sani Labaran says:

    Hi i am a left handed doc who worked in a rural hospital in Nigeria as surgeon in the mist of right handed nurses and other supporting staff , it was a nice experience.

  4. jo says:

    im a left handed retired registered nurse , we lefties were in the majority sometimes whole shift were covered by left handers ,it was amazing .

    • kathy says:

      I happen to have 2 professions. I have been a Left handed hairstylist for 20 years and also a RN. My mother and son are also left handed. My mom did the “hook” writing. I just have terrible handwriting. Interesting though that lefties are a creative bunch 🙂

  5. Claudine says:

    I am a lefthander who cannot use scissors with my left hand. I have tried on numerous occasions but can’t cut with my left hand. Also, I throw a ball with greater precision with my righ hand. There are some things I cannot do with my left hand and others that I have to decide on which hand to use because I feel comfortable using either hand.

  6. Ruth says:

    I am a dental nurse, and despite there being (out of 30 nurses) in out department 3 leftie nurses, there are no left-handed dentists! I once heard of a left-handed hygienist, but as all the surgeries are built with the dentist’s instruments on the right of the dentist, and the nurse on the left of the dentist, there doesn’t seem to be a dental surgery to fit a leftie dentist!

    • dr nikil says:

      haii this is dr nikil m pursuing my postgraduation in oral n maxillofacial surgery i cmplted my dentistry n m agree tht all dentl chairs n instrument made for right handers bt believe me being a left hander sme time beneecial in head n neck surgeries

  7. Julie Mitchell says:

    I am a retired police Sergeant, I used to work with 7 left handed colleagues out of a team of 21. Self defence techniques were a problem for me until I found a left-handed trainer. I also found locking and unlocking handcuffs a problem, I don’t know if they were made for right-handers only.

    • Liderien says:

      I work for the Chief of Police in my town. I would say about at least 35-40% of our Sergeants and above are left handed, including myself (no rank, just a civilian.) I think this is awesome.

  8. Roderick T. Beaman says:

    I’m left handed and an FP. I did well in surgery despite any supposed problems with scissors and instruments designed for right handers. I think I just compensated and now have trouble using left handed scissots, etc.

  9. Claire says:

    That’s very interesting to note about left-handness in the medical field, my father soon to be retired radiologist is a leftie but learnt to handle right handed equipment with his right hand. Ever since then he always handles right handed scissors with his right hand as opposed to his natural left hand.

    I learned to handle right handed scissors with my left hand and since buying a left hand scissors, I found I could not get on with the left handed scissors with my left hand at all. Sadly it’s sitting the drawer gathering dust while I use right hand scissors in my left hand. Does anyone find that the same?

    While still on the medical question, I’m always intrigued about cochlear implants with deaf people who have hearing loss in both ears, as I am cochlear-implanted and asked for my left ear to be implanted whereas my audio-gram showed same hearing loss in both ears. I always preferred my left ear, could that be due to my left-handedness?… I am wondering if it’s worthwhile asking the cochlear companies to see if I could approach them with a research paper on this?…

    • Kay says:

      I too have problems with left handed scissors. I have learnt to angle RH ones to cut well so only need the grips to be differetn to cope. The LH ones don’t cut wher ei expect them to!

      • Sue says:

        When I got my first pair of lefthanded scissors, I had the same problem. I discovered that I had been tilting my head to the left to see where the righthanded scissors were cutting. When I stopped that and began to look at the right side of the lefthanded scissors, I could cut with them just fine. But I have a lefthanded co-worker who has never been able to adjust to lefthanded scissors. Sometimes you can find scissors with left handles and right blades. I have a pair of Fiskars that way.

        • kathy says:

          Being a hairdresser has been a nightmare for finding the right scissors. I learned to compensate with righty scissors because I was so frustrated. Pretty sure I will end up with carpel tunnel someday.

    • Angela says:

      I also m lefthanded and find that lefthaned sissors are no use

  10. Nick Taylor says:

    I am a lefty doc.
    It was almost impossible after I trained as there were no left handed scissors etc. I lucked out though in one job as a previous surgeon ( who had died ) had had made left handed instruments! Thety would not let me take them with me when I left!!!!
    Could be very difficult with special instruments as for instance endoscopes are meant to be manipulated with the right hand, and as far as I know no-one has made l3eft handed ones.
    Moved to the US from the UK and was told that I “COULD NOT EXAMINE PATIENTS WITH MY LEFT HAND!” as it was not the American way. Fortunately, when I went into individual practice, I could set up my rooms as I liked.

    With regard to Kara, my daughter is a left ahnded speech therapist!

  11. Kara says:

    I work as a speech pathologist in an acute care hospital and 3 out of 4 of us are left handed.

    • Alison says:

      Hi Kara I am a speech language therapist and used to work in a department in the UK where 6 out of 18 of us were lefties. I worked with adults but other lefty colleagues worked in peadiatrics and dysfluency.

  12. Sherri says:

    When I rotated through surgery in the process of getting my OB Tech certification, I was assigned to pass instruments to a left handed surgeon. He really wanted me to stay in OR and work with him, because he liked that he and I could work closely together and not bump one another. It was a good experience. When ordering instruments for the department, I don’t recall there being left handed versions . I doubt that the hospital would purchase them – too much money, not enough staff to use them.

    I think most of us adapt to using instruments, etc. I know that I can remove sutures and staples with either hand, catheterize a patient with either hand, etc. It really is an advantage of sorts.

  13. Keith says:

    Catriona Slater says:

    Further to the comments regarding left handed radiologists and left handed surgeons in the latest newsletter: I am a left handed Emergency Department Doctor, and my father was a left handed Orthopaedic surgeon. One of the best pieces of advice he gave me while I was training was to learn all the practical skills in a right handed way first then transfer them to the left – it would take me a bit longer but I learned them right handed. Then I could easily transfer the skill to my left hand (albeit learning how to unclip the right-hand-design clamps was a bit fiddly to start with but I’ve got the hang of it now). So I have ended up being able to suture ambidextrously on the standard equipment – meaning that I can get in to awkward angles without having to swap me and all my equipment, while keeping everything sterile, to the opposite side of the patient to finish off the last stitch.

    I find that I now subconsciously choose right or left handed setup, switch between the two and reverse the needle with a much quicker 3D understanding of what is going on than my mono-dextrous left OR right handed colleagues.

    It was hard work making my non-compliant right hand learn the skills but I honestly believe that if I’d just learned to suture primarily left handed it would have been in the ‘too hard’ basket to transfer the skill to my right hand.

    So go forth all ye left handed health professional students and make your left handedness an advantage by developing both right and left handed skills and becoming better at what you do than the monodextrous right handers. It’s a hare vs tortoise thing – you might start off slower but you will end up quicker. I’ve passed the challenge on to various of my right handed students to learn their skills primarily left handed as a route to becoming ambidextrous, but no takers yet….!

    • Kathy says:

      I am left handed and happen to be a hairstylist and a registered nurse. I have learned to be ambidexterous and fairly proficient. My mother and brother are also left handed. I agree that sometimes it is uncomfortable to use the right hand as it “doesn’t feel right” but by forcing myself to step outside the box I feel I am better for it.

      • kathy says:

        I am in the arnp program and when I finish I intend to go on and get certified in suturing. I believe I will take your advice and try because I can be ambidexterous. My BFF is in the program with me and she is left handed as well. It may serve me well. Thanksfor the input.

  14. Robert Kilpin says:

    I used to work in a photography shop and 9 out of 11 of us were left handed.

    • Keith says:

      That is really interesting, especially as most photography equipment is so right-handed! Does anyone else have experience of left-handers and photography that they can share?

  15. Kimberley says:

    A few years ago at my secondary school in England my maths teacher (who was left handed) asked everyone in my class if they where left handed or right handed. Out of 35 students 17 where left handed. We found these results quite suprising as this meant that nearly 50% of the class where left handed. We joked that as this class was the top set maths class, this must be evidence showing that lefties are more intelligent than right handers! Although the right handers all completely disagreed!

    I am a lefthander who lives in a family with 3 right handers. It drives me mad that all the scissors in the house always seem to be right handed and I hate that all of the kitchen utensils are designed for use by right handers!

    I have a twin who is right handed, which everyone finds very interesting and they like to think that we are complete opposites as we write with different hands!

    • Keith says:

      Hi Kimberly – we have an easy fix for this one:
      Left handed scissors
      Left handed kitchen utensils

  16. lynne says:

    i work in an office with 7 employees and 5 are left-handed.

    Sewing and knitting can be tricky when following directions.

  17. Peebs says:

    I spent 26 years in the Royal Naval Medical Branch and noticed a generally higher than average percentage of left handers.

    In one sick bay there were nine staff with eight of us left handed.

    On the subject of left handed instruments the Laryngoscope springs to mind, easy to use as a lefty, a nightmare if right handed.

  18. Barb says:

    Spent 20 yrs in the US Army and was trained as a OR Tech. And am left-handed.Recall asking instructers while training if this would be a problem.( OR Techs are trained to select and pass surgical instruments to the Surgeon in the position of function,so that his- or her eyes dont leave the site of the surgery) I was told dont worry you will be OK. And I have to say that I was. My experience was that most sugeons are indeed right handed. The most important part of this job was adapting to the surgeons preferances. Most lefthanders do use there righthand for some things,I use the computer mouse with my righthand and all ways have.

    • Maria says:

      Most Lefties have to use their right hand more then a right hander would use their left hand. Everything around us is righthanded we have to adjust a bit to the world to be able to use everydaythings Like even opening a bottlecap makes my wrist hurt.

      • Clark says:

        You should never do anything to hurt your wrist.
        Did you try holding the cap and rotating the bottle?
        I use right-handed scissors. I hold my right arm in position and use my left hand to guide the paper through the scissors.
        Being left-handed just means we have to use our superior minds to develop creative ways to overcome all the misfortunate right-handed people and their gadgets. 😉

  19. Linda says:

    I am a left-handed electrician in the U.S. and have found a surprising number of other electricians to be left-handed. I was randomly called to a meeting one day and 4 out of the 8 electricians present were left-handed!! Many of the tools we use are for righties and I have trouble sometimes when I have to approach a job from the right-handed angle.

  20. donald chell says:

    that is something I never thought about. are there many in struments that are purely righthanded or can you obtain them in L/H version ?. for the medical world.???

  21. Sherri says:

    I live in the US, and worked for 36 years in the medical field. 23 of those years were spent working in acute care hospitals. I worked in OB, and also in Medical, MedSurg, ECU, Surgery and Central Supply. In all those years , I only saw two left handed physicians, both general surgeons. While working in OB I had to use the instruments often and they were all designed for right handers. As was much of the electronic monitoring equipment. Very few of my co-workers, in any area of the hospital were left handed . Perhaps 5 or so in all those years besides myself.

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