Who do doctors turn to when perplexed by a diagnostic dilemma? Commonly he or she consults with the doctor’s doctor, the diagnostic imaging specialist, the radiologist. Who are these faceless diagnosticians? What kind of people are they?
To outsiders, diagnostic imaging seems anonymous and mysterious. Many do not realize that radiologists are doctors. Consider the first of three myths and the actual facts about radiologists.
Myth #1: Radiologists do not ever see patients.
Fact: While it is possible to find a practice where an introverted radiologist could sit or stand all day and do nothing but interpret x-ray after CT after MRI after ultrasound, the majority of radiologists see patients daily. Radiologist are consultants. When a primary care physician or a medical or surgical specialist thinks an imaging study might help to pin down exactly what is wrong with a patient, they consult a radiologist. Many times, the radiologist agrees with the imaging study the ordering physician requests. As the gatekeeper of potentially harmful ionizing radiation (used for x-rays, fluoroscopy, CT and nuclear imaging) and non-ionizing radiation used for ultrasound and MRI, the radiologist is specifically trained to be the ideal consultant to tailor the patient’s imaging studies so that the minimum exposure results in the maximum information to help a patient feel better fast. In order to tailor the imaging studies, the radiologist often examines the patient before, during or after an imaging test has been performed.
If you would like to read about two other common myths abut radiologists, keep watching this site.
This is a place to celebrate the accomplishments of the men and women who are enjoying their diagnostic imaging careers as an integral part of their well-rounded lives. They are making a difference. When you see how they are positively affecting your community, please tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can give them the peer recognition they richly deserve.