How many radiologists cheat or take short-cuts in their interpretations?

If you aren’t following emergency physician WhiteCoat’s account of his malpractice trial, you should.

During one exchange with an expert witness, here’s how he described what a radiologist routinely did at his hospital:

The radiologist that read the film had a habit of going to the surgeons the following day and asking them what they had found. He would open up a blank report so that it looked as if it was dictated at the time of the exam, but would then hold the reports as “preliminary” and finalize them after dictating in the results of the surgeries. That way it looked like he had picked up on all these small findings before anyone else knew about them.

Wow.

That’s like knowing all the answers beforehand, and really, calls into question the interpretive skill of the radiologist. Over at Better Health, blogging radiologist scan man is incensed, calling it cheating.

With the considerable pressure to “get it right,” so to speak, I wonder how many radiologists use similar tactics in their interpretations.

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