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Most Radiologists Want More Direct Communication with Patients

Over half of radiologists want more patient interactions, according to a study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

An international group of researchers, which mostly included physicians from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston sought out to understand radiologists’ perspective on direct patient care. They sent out a voluntary and anonymous survey to 128 radiologists and radiology residents at a large, unnamed academic institution. Participants had between June 1 and July 31, 2016 to fill out the multiple-choice questionnaire. The results were then collected and analyzed by REDCap, a secure online survey management system.

Out of the 128 radiologists who received the survey, 94 filled it out. Approximately 54 percent of the participants were staff radiologists and around 45 percent were trainees. The overwhelming majority of respondents (78.7 percent) reported that they considered patient interactions to be a “satisfying experience,” and around 19 percent said they spend at least 15 minutes with each patient.

However, 54.3 percent (or 51 out of 94) said they wanted more opportunities to interact with patients. This concern was particularly strong among staff radiologists who specialized in vascular, interventional radiology, and mammography, with 77.8 percent indicating they desired more direct patient communication. Very few radiologists complained about dealing with patients, with a mere 4.2 percent citing patient interactions to be “detrimental to normal workflow.”

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