A recent article in Health Imaging discusses a study that caught my eye. According to the study, the article noted, 80 to 90 percent of radiologists remain “invisible to their patients and approximately half of the public is unaware of whether radiologists are physicians or technicians.” In effect, the “commoditization of radiology is becoming a pressing concern to many practitioners.”
The authors of this study provide a good solution: “By offering an even higher level of personalized service through direct communication, radiologists can dispel this viewpoint by showing patients that they customize imaging examinations to fit each patient’s individual healthcare needs.”
I find this relates to my own experiences as a radiologist and, in a way, to the low dose movement. One way to lower the dose of CT is to not do inappropriate CT scans. How do you decide what is inappropriate?
This is where the radiologist (a physician) as a knowledgeable advisor (who consults with other physicians about imaging) comes in.
Face time with patients can help them understand this role. It can also help them understand that lower dose in their appropriate CT exams is possible without compromising the diagnostic power of the exam – again, achieved through a knowledgeable radiologist designing the CT exam and monitoring the conduct of executing the exam.