Added value of radiologist consultation to family practitioners in the outpatient setting

Radiology. 1995 Dec;197(3):759-62. doi: 10.1148/radiology.197.3.7480752.


Purpose: To measure the added value of a radiologist's consultation to the interpretation of radiographs previously read by a family practitioner.

Materials and methods: The authors reviewed 1,674 chest and extremity radiographs previously read by a family practitioner and consulting radiologist. The 196 radiographs in which there was a discrepancy between the family practitioner's and radiologist's report were evaluated by a radiologist and family physician not involved in and blinded to the original interpretations. The overall accuracy of the participants was determined and differences statistically quantified.

Results: The overall sensitivity of the radiologists was greater than that of the family practitioners (92% vs 86%); specificity was not significantly different. For extremity examinations, there were no significant differences in accuracy of the radiologists and family practitioners; the sensitivity of radiologists for chest studies was considerably greater (89% vs 80%). Radiologic consultation was of particular value in the detection of pneumonia and masses.

Conclusion: At a family practice center, the radiologist's role for extremity radiographs might be limited to individual consultation, with review of all chest radiographs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Clinical Competence / statistics & numerical data
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Extremities / diagnostic imaging
  • Family Practice* / statistics & numerical data
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Failure / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumonia / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiography, Thoracic / statistics & numerical data
  • Radiology* / statistics & numerical data
  • Referral and Consultation*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Single-Blind Method