Radiologists are trained to interpret medical imaging studies such as X-rays, CT scans, ultrasounds, and MRIs. Radiologists also treat diseases with radiation or image guided surgery. As with other medical specialties, delay or failure to diagnose a disease is the most common reason patients give when suing their radiologists. Justia.com writes:
Failure to diagnose and misdiagnosis of an illness or injury are the basis of many medical malpractice lawsuits. Misdiagnosis on its own is not necessarily medical malpractice, and not all diagnostic errors give rise to a successful lawsuit. Even highly experienced and competent doctors make diagnostic errors. Instead, the misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose must result in improper medical care, delayed treatment, or no treatment, which in turn must result in a worsening of the patient’s medical condition in order for the malpractice to be actionable.
Allegations of a diagnostic error in this medical field can be difficult to prove or defend due to the subjective nature of interpreting X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. In Medscape Malpractice Report 2015: Why Radiologists Get Sued, Medscape asked radiologists about lawsuits in which they had been defendants. The survey found that the risks of litigation varied with the medical setting. “Of the radiologist respondents who reported being sued, the percentage was highest in outpatient clinics (100%). Respondents in hospitals reported 71% and the lowest number was for respondents in academic settings at 45%.
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 procedural complications.