"I was seen by a radiologist, but unfortunately I can't remember the name and I still have questions. What should I do?" Radiologists should give thoughts to improve service professionalism and patient esteem

Cancer Imaging. 2020 Feb 13;20(1):18. doi: 10.1186/s40644-020-0292-7.


Background: The aim of the study is to investigate how well patients remember the radiologist's name after a radiological examination, and whether giving the patient a business card improves the patient's perception of the radiologist's professionalism and esteem.

Methods: In this prospective and randomized two-centre study, a total of 141 patients with BI-RADS 1 and 2 scores were included. After screening examination comprising mammography and ultrasound by a radiologist, 71 patients received a business card (group 1), while 70 received no business card (group 2). Following the examination, patients were questioned about their experiences.

Results: The patients in group 1 could remember the name of the radiologist in 85% of cases. The patients in group 2, in contrast, could only remember the name in 7% of cases (p < 0.001). 90% of the patients in group 1 believed it was very important that they are able to contact the radiologist at a later time, whereas only 76% of patients in group 2 felt that this was a very important service (p < 0.025). A total of 87% of the patients in group 1 indicated that they would contact the radiologist if they had any questions whereas 73% of the patients in group 2 would like to contact the radiologist but were not able to do so, because they could not remember the name (p < 0.001). All questions were analysed with a Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel (CMH) test that took study centre as stratification into account. In some cases, two categories were collapsed to avoid zero cell counts.

Conclusions: Using business cards significantly increased the recall of the radiologist's name and could be an important tool in improving the relationships between patients and radiologists and enhancing service professionalism.

Trial registration: We have a general approval from our ethics committee. The patients have given their consent to this study.

Keywords: Anxiety; Communication; Psychology, mammography.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography*
  • Middle Aged
  • Professionalism*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiologists*
  • Ultrasonography, Mammary*