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What's a Radiologist? Dr. Pavlov, Radiologist, Chief of Radiology at HSS and Writer for the Huffington Post Explains

(NEW YORK - May 29th, 2009) - Dr. Helene Pavlov, M.D., F.A.C.R., Radiologist in Chief at Hospital for Special Surgery and Writer at Huffington Post wrote an illuminating article for HuffPo's readership entitled "Radiology Myth Buster: Radiologist - Technologist or Physician?" - it is true, often patients and non-medical professionals often may not know what the difference between a radiologist and a radiology technologist are. Hence, the ACR (American College of Radiology) this year invested heavily into a public relations campaign, "the Face of Radiology" to really educate the public about the radiologist and his/her role in medicine as a physician.

As Dr. Pavlov states in her article, "Patients are often misinformed about radiologists and the role the radiologist has in their healthcare. Many patients think that the radiologist is the technologist that took their x-ray or MRI and are unaware that radiologists are medical doctors, they are physicians."

It is simply the nature of the business. Radiologists often do not have front-line face to face access to patients. Their jobs are defined traditionally mostly as film (CT/MRI) interpretation but with ever expanding opportunities for interventional procedures and women's imaging (mammography/breast imaging), more patients now know who their radiologist is. Do you know who your radiologist is?

Not all radiology reports are created equal because not all radiologists are created equal. Dr. Pavlov delineates that "Like all physicians , radiologists graduate from accredited medical schools and pass a state licensing examination. In addition, they also complete at least four years of post-graduate medical education in a diagnostic radiology residency. Most radiologists also continue their training with another year of Fellowship in a sub-specialty such as musculoskeletal imaging, neuroradiology, gastroenterology, etc."

Well, practices have started to actually schedule office hours and post pictures of their physicians (radiologists!) in the waiting room. This makes both business and common sense. These practices will likely succeed in imaging satisfied patients who often wonder who their doctors are. In addition, these practices will likely lead to more referrals!

As Dr. Pavlov recommends to the general public, "So the next time you need an imaging examination and go to an imaging center or hospital for an X-Ray, MRI, CT, Ultrasound examination or other imaging study remember to ask if a radiologist will plan and interpret your study. Also, ask if the radiologist has expertise in your specific clinical concern. The radiologist can be an unbiased, patient advocate for your healthcare needs."

On behalf of some of the radiologists we have interviewed in response to this article, "Thank you Dr. Pavlov" for this educational and timely article. Also we look forward to more articles in the Huffington Post about radiologists and radiology!

For the full article on Huffington Post, please click on this link.

This article was written by radRounds Staff Writer and Community Manager, Jennifer Larson. Any comments or questions please email jennifer@radrounds.com

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