Purpose: To investigate the level of doctors' and intern doctors' knowledge about patients' radiation exposure doses during common radiological examinations.
Materials and methods: A questionnaire listing the radiation doses of routine radiological diagnostic procedures was administered to 177 doctors and intern doctors. We asked them to find the equivalent doses of radiation for common radiological examinations when a normal chest X-ray is accepted as one unit. Data were analyzed with k-square and Fisher's exact k-square tests.
Results: In all, 93.1% (n = 156) of the doctors and intern doctors underestimated the actual radiation dose, 4% (n = 7) did not know that ultrasound does not utilize ionizing radiation, and 27.4% (n = 47) did not know that magnetic resonance imaging does not entail ionizing radiation.
Conclusion: Most of the doctors and intern doctors underestimated real radiation doses. This lack of awareness may cause doctors to order more radiological investigations than they would if properly educated. Therefore, we propose mandatory education about radiation protection in the medical school.