, Volume 19, Issue 10, pp 2326-2332
Date: 14 May 2009

The role of a consultant radiologist—are patients still in the dark?

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Little is known regarding public awareness of the roles and responsibilities of a consultant radiologist. Between 1 April and 20 May 2008, 916 outpatients attending our radiology department completed a questionnaire addressing this issue. We found public perception variable. Thirty-six percent of respondents thought we were responsible for choosing appropriate imaging; only 65% perceived that we reported studies. Another 38% felt that we did not play an important role in their treatment, and 38% considered that we were not part of their medical team. Thirty-two percent of respondents preferred their hospital consultant to give them their imaging results, with 17% preferring this to come from the radiologist. There is significant under-appreciation of the roles and responsibilities of a consultant radiologist. It is important that we educate the public to ensure that future health policy reflects the increasingly central role imaging plays in health-care delivery.