Most Widely Believed Myth About Radiologists

Last week, I introduced the concept that radiologists are behind-the-scenes heroes.

I asked, “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 second of  three myths and the actual facts about radiologists.

Myth #2: Radiologists are technical personnel that acquire the imaging studies and the ordering doctor interprets the pictures.

Fact: Technologists spend two years or more attending specialize schools to be able to carry out the technical steps necessary to take x-rays, or perform more complex imaging studies such as CT, MRI, nuclear imaging and ultrasound.  Technologists also work in the catheterization labs and special procedures suites to provide the fluoroscopy and specialized x-rays necessary for the radiologist to successfully help the patient who may be too sick for surgery and in need of an interventional procedure.

Next time you are around medical imaging, ask, Where is the radiologist who is reading all these beautiful images?”  He or she is closer than you think and always ready to serve.

Come back next week for the third myth in this series.

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