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Book and Media Reviews
July 11, 2012

Diagnostic Imaging for the Emergency Physician

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: John L. Zeller, MD, PhD, Contributing Editor.

Author Affiliation: Department of Emergency Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland (laurelberge@gmail.com).

JAMA. 2012;308(2):189. doi:10.1001/jama.308.2.189-a

In emergency medicine, a specialty increasingly affected by the loss of specialty services while at the same time faced with increasing clinical and administrative demands, a trend has emerged: emergency physicians are more often expected to provide real-time interpretation of the diagnostic radiologic studies they order for their patients. Time-sensitive, clinically important decisions are made daily by emergency physicians; these same board-certified physicians, although well trained in their field, have had little to no formal background training in radiology (at worst, having had only 1 radiology rotation in medical school; at best, having had additional exposure through continuing medical education). Even in large, tertiary care academic institutions, radiology residents sometimes first interpret critically important images, with final interpretations not provided until hours or even a day later.

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