The Radiologist Expert Witness: When Experience Matters

What does a radiologist do? Radiologists are physicians trained in the interpretation of medical imaging studies such as X-Ray, CT, ultrasound, and MRI. According to RadiologyInfo.org, “A radiologist correlates medical image findings with other examinations and tests, recommends further examinations or treatments, and confers with referring physicians (the doctors who send patients to the radiology department or clinic for testing). Radiologists also treat diseases by means of radiation (radiation oncology or nuclear medicine) or minimally invasive, image-guided surgery (interventional radiology).”

When a radiologist is accused of medical negligence, the radiology expert witness testifies on whether the medical standard of care was breached.  In Medscape Malpractice Report 2015: Why Radiologists Get Sued, Medscape asked radiologists about lawsuits in which they had been defendants. The survey showed that sixty-seven percent of the respondents were sued for failure to diagnose. Fifteen percent were sued for an abnormal injury and six percent for failure to treat.  Medscape asked what advice the radiologists have for other doctors. Number one on the list was “Document, document, document.” Also on the list was “Share only what you can remember or document.”

Radiologists use advanced imaging techniques to perform a variety of complex diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Only the most experienced and board certified radiology expert witness is qualified to consult and testify on allegations of failure to diagnose, misdiagnosis, errors in interpretation, and procedure complications.

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