, Volume 15, Issue 4, p 215
Date: 08 May 2008

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After a long career as a radiologic educator and many years as an emergency radiologist, I am often distressed by the apologetic reporting of emergency radiologic examination by residents.

In many cases, a definitive diagnosis is possible, and this is greatly appreciated by the emergency physicians. In its place, the resident offers many qualifiers including “probably”, “likely suggestive”, “compatible with”, etc. In part, this may relate to lack of experience or often an unwillingness to commit. Granted, these terms are sometimes necessary, but when used indiscriminately, it obliges the emergency physician to become more tentative in diagnosis, resulting in further radiologic examination and follow-up.

I have learned in conversations with our non-radiologic colleagues the criticism that we as radiologist often waffle or hedge in our reports and finally weasel out if we are wrong. To this end, as a teaching instrument, I have designed a mock and less than complimentary coat of arms illus