Why do doctors love (digital) images?

MikeUsman mikeusman at aol.com
Tue Jul 12 07:06:04 EST 1994

In article <1994Apr29.145644.18695 at aragorn.unibe.ch>, ozdoba at unibe.ch
(Christoph Ozdoba) writes:

Why do doctors of other specialties love this images? Is there a
  fascination in the image as such, something like "seeing is believing"?
  Why is this so? Why is it necessary to have the images before you?

As one of the above-mentioned doctors, I would offer the following:

1) Radiologists do often miss things because they may not know the
clinical findings or diagnostic decision-making that led to ordering a
study.  On more than one occasion, I have called the radiologist to say
"Did you notice that cerebellar infarct?" and later received a revised

2) Clinicians do develop an expertise in interpreting images related to
their field.  While I am comfortable looking at brain CT/MRI, I would be
lost looking at an abdominal study.

3) We often like to have images for teaching purposes - to go over the
findings with trainees or patients themselves. I store mine in an
electronic medical record system so that they are readily available.

4) Sometimes the information given is not detailed enough for our
purposes.  If I am trying to correlate lesions with behavioral problems
and neuropsychological test data, a report of "atrophy", "scattered
lacunar infarcts", or "non-specific periventricular ischemic changes" is
usually not helpful. 

5)  Would you fault a surgeon for wanting to actually see the pictures
before operating?

I'm interested in your perspective on these issues.  Mike Usman, M.D.

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net