Louisville Medicine Volume 67, Issue 10 | Page 37

DR. WHO Dr. Burger and Susanna welcomed their first child, Sarah, in 1985. Although they knew it would be tough living on a resident’s salary, he said, they decided that Susanna would move into a full- time mom position for their family. “I was definitely moonlighting during that time,” he said. “But we made it work.” After finishing his residency 1987, he wanted another view on the specialty and decided that a fellowship at the University of Iowa in Iowa City was just the place, where a young guru in MRI imaging had set up shop. “MRI was just coming on the scene as the up-and-coming di- agnostic imaging tool,” he said. “And there was a young, bright neuroradiologist whose area of expertise was MRI [Dr. William T.C. Yuh, M.S.E.E.] and he was kind of a guru in MRI and he was at Iowa, so I wanted to work with him. Plus, Iowa was just a fantastic place. They had good equipment, good people, good subspecialties.” Their second daughter, Allison, was born there in 1987, and after his fellowship in Iowa, the family returned to Louisville for good in July 1988. He was quickly welcomed at Louisville Radiol- ogy Associates and became the first neuroradiologist to practice at Norton Hospital. His group consisted of just five radiologists when he joined in 1988, but would soon grow. By 1994, they had changed their name to Diagnostic Imaging Alliance of Louisville (DIAL). While their practice is independent and they are not Norton employees, they have cared for patients at Norton Brownsboro, downtown Norton, two Norton imaging centers. The staff has grown to over 20 members with multiple subspecialties in imaging. “It’s been really great watching the group grow. I have a really good group of partners,” he said. “The young people we hire are all from some of the best programs in the country. It’s a really good group of people to work with.” He was a partner at DIAL for 31 years and just recently stepped back from that role in June 2019 as he prepares for retirement in the coming years. Dr. Burger’s work now entails a combination of procedures and reading imaging studies. He currently performs myelograms and lumbar punctures four days a week, performing anywhere from five to 10 procedures daily. In a typical day, he is also reading anywhere from 30 to 50 additional imaging scans for other patients. He en- joys getting to do these procedures as it gets him face-to-face with patients, which can be a refreshing change from spending hours at a time in a basement reading room. “With procedures, I still get to talk to patients and see patients. What keeps it fresh for me is that patient contact. And every patient is different. It never gets old.” Dr. Burger also says that he enjoys working through diagnostic puzzles. “We’re all problem-solving and trying to come up with a diagnosis, trying to help other doctors solve the problem, trying to help them figure out what’s wrong with their patient,” he said. “That’s always a good thing. Working with the clinicians that I work with at the hospital—neurosurgeons, spine surgeons, neurologists—that keeps it interesting.” In the ever-evolving landscape of radiology, there is never a (continued on page 36) MARCH 2020 35