Rationale and objectives: Abdominal radiologists actively participated and provided subspecialty radiologic expertise in a multidisciplinary gastrointestinal cancer clinic that served a tertiary referral center. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility and nonradiologists' opinions of this new approach to radiologic consultation.
Materials and methods: One of four subspecialty-trained abdominal radiologists joined physicians from four other subspecialties in staffing weekly 4-hour clinic sessions. Images were reviewed, opinions on test selection and interventional options rendered, and patients met with when interventional options were considered. Radiologists were compensated a fixed sum for each session. A survey of nonradiologists' opinions about the radiologists' active participation was conducted after 15 months (61 clinic sessions).
Results: Abdominal radiologists' active participation was feasible and highly regarded by nonradiologist physicians. Specific benefits cited in the survey included improved interpretation, more efficient use of nonradiologist physician time, and improved rapport between radiologists and nonradiologists. Nonradiologist physicians believed that patient care was improved and that the radiologists' participation should continue.
Conclusion: The active participation of abdominal radiologists in a multidisciplinary gastrointestinal cancer clinic is feasible and highly regarded by nonradiologists.