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Will Pryor headshotDr. William Pryor earned his medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2016. He completed a surgical internship and diagnostic radiology residency at Penn State Health in 2021. He then completed a Pediatric Radiology Fellowship at Children’s Hospital Colorado in 2022.

During his time at MUSC, he was the founder and clinical president of the Vascular & Interventional Radiology Interest Group. He was also a committee member of the Society of Interventional Radiology Resident-Fellow-Student committee.

While in training, he participated in several research projects, including “Many a slip twixt the cup and the lip: A novel review of MRI appendicitis steps” and “Scurvy’s voyage: Recognition of imaging findings in the modern era.” He is published in several journals and has presented at conferences domestically and internationally. His research interests range from contrast-enhanced ultrasound to the development of spaced learning programs.

Dr. Pryor belongs to multiple organizations, including the Society of Pediatric Radiology and the American College of Radiology. He is an active proponent of humanitarian causes. He has participated in volunteer opportunities, including Medical Student for Burn Center International in Bolivia and the CARES clinic in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. 

What attracted you to the Department of Radiology at UNC?

I am originally from Columbia, South Carolina, and since my immediate family is still there and my fiancé’s family is in Pennsylvania, it made sense for us to search for a place in between them. When we were looking at different programs, UNC stood out as being a world-class academic institution and the perfect place for me to grow my career. Also, everyone I spoke to about the Pediatric Imaging Division at UNC spoke highly of the faculty there, including Dr. Lynn Fordham and Dr. Carolina Guimaraes. Once I interviewed with the Pediatric Imaging faculty and had a chance to visit the area, I knew it was the right place for me.

What inspired you to pursue a medical degree?

I grew up in a medical household, so from a young age, I considered pursuing a career in scientific research or medicine. However, when I entered high school, I really started thinking seriously about what career could allow me to combine my growing interests in science and still give back to my community in a meaningful way. Being a physician made sense and has given me the ability to do these things.

What attracted you to Radiology?

Unlike many of my colleagues who went into Radiology, I knew I wanted to pursue Radiology before medical school. I worked as a patient transporter for a Radiology Department at a local hospital in South Carolina between undergraduate and medical school. This was a transformative experience for me as I got a glimpse of the different specialties and modalities of Radiology and have meaningful patient interactions. The area of Radiology that first really attracted me was Interventional Radiology. In fact, I thought I was going to be an Interventional Radiologist through medical school and most of my residency.

How did you find your way into your current specialty, Pediatrics?

While I enjoyed the satisfaction of performing procedures, I realized towards the end of residency that pursuing a career in Interventional Radiology was not the best choice for me. I began considering what other subspecialties of Radiology I could pursue for my fellowship. As I was going down my list of potential choices, what stood out to me the most was that the Pediatric Radiologists were always the happiest people that I met in the department. Of course, that really made me take notice. While I am not 100% certain why that is, I think it likely has to do with the opportunity to help children. Children are by far the best patient population. Also, every day I get to learn something new, a new disease or syndrome.

What advances in medicine would you like to see in the next five years specific to your specialty?

I would love to see more contrast-enhanced ultrasound used universally, not just at the big academic institutions, but also at the local community hospitals. I would also like to see more contrast enhanced ultrasound used in the Pediatric population. Additionally, I would like to see further advances in interventional procedures specialized for children.

What is one thing you wish your patients or your co-workers knew about you before they met you?

My enthusiasm for learning, teaching, and for generally bettering my surroundings. I think that my passion in life is just to keep doing better. We are all walking up a downward moving escalator; either we are heading up it or we are going down it. I don’t think we can ever really be stationary. That’s my philosophy, and I try to live by it.

What’s one piece of advice for people that you would give people who are interested in Radiology?

Keep an open mind and take cases that make you feel uncomfortable! I had “locked” myself into doing interventional work early on, and when things changed, I had to change too. For someone going into a Radiology residency, they need to keep an open mind to all fields of Radiology to become as well-rounded as possible. For instance, unless you are at a big academic institution, you may not necessarily be doing just Pediatric, Breast, or MSK studies. This is especially true for most people who go into private practice, which many Radiology residents do. You will never regret taking the cases that make you feel uncomfortable during residency and fellowship.

If you could pick the brain of someone, alive or dead, who would it be and why?

I really would like to have a conversation with Einstein. It does feel like a cliché statement, but for someone as nerdy as me, I would want to hear his thought process and discover how he reasoned through problems.

What do you do when you aren’t working?

My fiancé and I like outdoor activities and adventures. We like to hike, swim, ski, and generally enjoy being outside. We also love to eat!

How would you describe yourself in one word?

Quirky

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? And why?

X-ray vision. As a Radiologist, it would be amazing to use just my eyes to scan the human body and find out what is wrong with a patient without them having to undergo additional scans and testing. Of course, it would still require the training to understand the issues, but it would be pretty amazing.