RSNA 2012 

Abstract Archives of the RSNA, 2012


Radiologists' Role: The Patient's Perspective

Scientific Formal (Paper) Presentations

Presented on November 28, 2012
Presented as part of SSK06: ISP: Health Service, Policy & Research (Medicolegal Aspects of Imaging)


Peter Damien Miller MD, Presenter: Nothing to Disclose
Justin Jeremiah Lightburn MD, Abstract Co-Author: Nothing to Disclose
Richard B. Gunderman MD, PhD, Abstract Co-Author: Nothing to Disclose
David Miller BS, MS, Abstract Co-Author: Nothing to Disclose


The invisibility of radiologists to patients has received increased attention. How well do patients understand what radiologists do? We need to better understand what patients know about radiologists and what they want to know in order to improve service and patient care.  


After expedited IRB review, we conducted surveys of patients undergoing outpatient CT scans at a university hospital. During a four-month period, all consentable adult patients were asked if they would be willing to meet with a radiologist and complete two brief surveys concerning radiologists and their role in healthcare.


A total of 307 patients were surveyed. 49.8% were high school educated and 48.6% had at least a college education or higher. 8.8% of respondents reported that they had no idea what radiologists do, 55.4% reported little understanding, and 35.8% have much understanding. However, only 53.5% of respondents believed radiologists are physicians. Concerning the importance of who interprets their imaging study, 3.7% replied that it is not important, 13.4% replied some importance, 30.1% replied it is important, and 52.8% replied it is very important. Regarding their interest in receiving a copy of their radiology report, 2.7% were not interested, 4.3% little interested, 5.8% somewhat interested, 21.4% interested, and 61.9% very interested. 62.7% would like to have access to a website with their radiologists’ biographies and pictures.


Many patients know little about the role of radiologists in their healthcare and would like to know more. The majority of patients think that it is important to know who is reading their study, would like a copy of their radiology report, and would like to know more about their radiologists. These findings present an important educational opportunity for radiology practices.


Understanding patients is a vital component of providing the best service in a radiology practice.

Cite This Abstract

Miller, P, Lightburn, J, Gunderman, R, Miller, D, Radiologists' Role: The Patient's Perspective.  Radiological Society of North America 2012 Scientific Assembly and Annual Meeting, November 25 - November 30, 2012 ,Chicago IL.