Cincinnati Children’s is home to physicians of many different specialties. Very often, a visit with a specialist is accompanied by imaging, such as MRI or CT. On the day of your child’s imaging study, you meet many people, including front desk personnel, technologists, and nurses. However, you usually do not get to meet your child’s radiologist, the doctor who interprets the imaging study and attempts to answer the question your child’s doctor is asking.
At Cincinnati Children’s Radiology Department, the radiologists pride themselves on being an integral part of your child’s care team. Each radiologist has special training dedicated to interpreting radiologic studies performed on children. Most of these pediatric radiologists are even further sub-subspecialized and focus their interest on areas such as pediatric neuroradiology, pediatric musculoskeletal imaging, or pediatric abdominal and chest imaging. Pediatric radiology fellows, general radiology residents, and medical students all work alongside the faculty radiologists. While the faculty radiologists review every single study, trainees help to interpret many studies. Thus, at any given moment there may be four or five doctors evaluating your child’s images.
When interpreting your child’s images, our pediatric radiologists are able to compare the current imaging study to any of the prior imaging studies that your child has ever had at Cincinnati Children’s. The radiologist is also able to review your child’s medical record in order to get more detailed information on your child’s healthcare history. At each step along the imaging process, radiologists are able to work in close collaboration with your child’s doctor. This collaboration can take many forms and includes calling your child’s doctor in order to discuss the best imaging study or discussing the imaging findings via telephone or in person. In more complex cases, our radiologists work with the other members of your child’s healthcare team to discuss recommendations for your child’s care. This type of collaboration allows the radiologist to provide the best care possible for your child.
After interpreting your child’s images, the radiologist creates a report. This report is a reflection of everything the radiologist sees on the images and is related to the symptoms your child is describing. The radiologist’s goals are to ensure that your child receives the imaging study that will best answer the question your doctor is asking and then interpret those images in a timely manner so that your child’s doctor can begin appropriate treatment as soon as possible. While radiologists often work behind the scenes, they are central to the care of your child.
Contributed by Dr. Hollie West and edited by Dr. Alexander J. Towbin