If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about the radiology department very often – that is, until you or a loved one needs an imaging exam. Whether it’s mammography, ultrasound, MRI, CT, X-ray, or PET – radiology plays a vital role in the early detection and diagnosis of many conditions.
You may not know much about radiology, but your radiologist does. Here are some questions to ask your radiologist to help you better understand what to expect during your exam.
77 Questions you can ask a radiologist:
- What made you decide to become a radiologist?
- What is your favorite thing about being a radiologist?
- What is the most challenging thing about being a radiologist?
- What are the different types of imaging modalities that you use?
- What are the benefits and drawbacks of each modality?
- How do you determine which modality is best for each patient?
- How does radiation exposure from medical imaging vary from modality to modality?
- How does radiation exposure from medical imaging compare to natural background radiation exposure?
- Are there any risks associated with radiation exposure from medical imaging?
- How do you minimize patients’ radiation exposure?
- Can patients request images be taken without contrast material?
- Can patients request images be taken without ionizing radiation?
- What are some of the common diseases or conditions that you can diagnose with imaging?
- What are some of the rarer diseases or conditions that you have seen with imaging?
- What is your experience with pediatric imaging?
- Do you have any additional training or certification in subspecialty areas of radiology such as neuroradiology, body imaging, nuclear medicine, or interventional radiology?
- How do you stay up-to-date on new developments in your field?
- What has been your most memorable case?
- What has been your funniest case?
- Do you have any words of wisdom for patients undergoing imaging exams?
- What does my diagnosis mean?
- What are the next steps?
- Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening again?
- How soon do I need to follow up?
- Do I need more imaging or tests?
- What are the risks of doing more imaging or tests?
- What are the benefits of doing more imaging or tests?
- Are there any alternative ways to treat my condition?
- What side effects can I expect from each treatment option?
- How long will it take for me to see results after starting treatment?
- Will I need ongoing treatment for this condition?
- How often will I need follow-up appointments?
- Is there anything I need to avoid while I’m being treated for this condition?
- What should I do if I have any concerns during my treatment?
- Who should I contact with questions after my appointment?
- When can I expect to receive a copy of my radiology report?
- Who will be reviewing my radiology report with me?
- Can you explain the results of my radiology exam in layman’s terms so that I can understand them better?
- Do you have any pamphlets or other resources that I can take home with me about my diagnosis/treatment options/etc.?
- What experience do you have with my particular condition?
- What imaging tests do you recommend and why?
- What are the risks associated with the tests you’re recommending?
- How accurate are these tests?
- What do you expect to find based on the symptoms I’m experiencing?
- What other health conditions could be causing my symptoms?
- If additional testing is needed, how soon can I schedule it?
- How will you let me know the results of my test?
- Can someone come with me to my appointment for support?
- How much does this procedure typically cost?
- Will my insurance cover this procedure?
- What are the next steps if the test shows that I have a condition?
- What are the next steps if the test comes back normal?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I should make to prevent further health problems?
- Are there any over-the-counter or prescription medications I should take or avoid taking before my procedure?
- Should I avoid eating or drinking anything before my procedure? If so, for how long prior to my procedure should I abstain from food and drink?
- Do I need to do anything special to prepare for my procedure?
- Is there anything else I should know about radiology or this particular procedure before we get started?
- What is a radiologist and what do they do?
- What kind of training and education does a radiologist need?
- What is the difference between diagnostic radiology and interventional radiology?
- What are some common imaging tests that radiologists perform?
- Why might my doctor refer me to see a radiologist?
- How do I prepare for my radiology appointment?
- What can I expect during and after my radiology procedure?
- Will I be able to go home after my radiology procedure?
- How do I interpret my radiology results?
- What are some common complications associated with radiology procedures?
- What are the side effects of radiation therapy?
- How can I reduce my risk of complications from radiation therapy?
- How often should I get a mammogram?
- When should I start getting screened for colon cancer?
- What is a low-dose CT scan and why would I need one?
- What is an MRI and how does it work?
- What is a PET scan and what does it show?
- How accurate are X-rays?
- Can radiation from imaging tests cause cancer?
- Who can I contact if I have more questions about my radiology results or procedure?
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the role of a radiologist?
A radiologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating diseases and injuries using imaging techniques such as X-rays, CTs, and MRIs. Using these techniques, they create images of the inside of the body that can be used to diagnose and treat disease. Radiologists typically work in radiology departments of hospitals, but may also work in private clinics or laboratories.
Can a radiologist perform surgery?
Since a radiologist knows the anatomy of the body and the effects of radiation on tissues, they are able to effectively and accurately diagnose problems and diseases using medical images. Radiologists often work closely with surgeons because they can provide preoperative images that help the surgeon plan the surgery. During surgery, a radiologist may be called in to guide instruments or biopsy needles to the correct location.
Radiology is an important area of medicine that can provide valuable insight into a patient’s condition. However, it’s normal to have some questions and concerns before undergoing a medical procedure.
We hope this list of questions has given you some clarity and you can prepare for your radiologist appointment with peace of mind!
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