We found the recent article by Young and Marrie1 on interobserver variability in the interpretation of chest radiographs quite interesting. We were particularly pleased that a medical student (Ms Young) had initiated this thought-provoking investigation. It is evident that a great deal of effort and perserverance is necessary to collect and analyze the data for such a study and, for this, we commend both Young and Marrie.
As family physicians, we often find ourselves viewing a chest x-ray film without the assistance of a radiologist. Thus, it would be valuable to know if our experience level will dictate the accuracy of our diagnosis of pneumonia. This study concludes that "there is considerable interobserver variability in the roentgenographic diagnosis of pneumonia" and that "this variability does not improve with increasing experience." Yet, by the percentage of the total number of correct responses, the staff physicians performed significandy better than the
Clark DC, Conrad KA. Interobserver Variability in Interpreting Chest Radiographs. Arch Intern Med. 1995;155(13):1453. doi:10.1001/archinte.1995.00430130149020
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