If you have never had to visit a radiologist for a test or procedure, you may be unfamiliar with what a radiologist specializes in and what services they provide. Radiologists are medical doctors who use medical imaging techniques to diagnose and treat various diseases and injuries. Some common examples of medical imaging techniques that most people know include x-rays, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Due to the use of radiation in many of these tests, these medical professionals are highly trained in radiation safety and protection, the effects of radiation on the body, and how to properly produce, read, and interpret medical imaging exams to keep patients safe at all times.
The primary role a radiologist plays in healthcare is that of an expert and consultant to the referring physician. After the radiologist performs tests and interprets the results, they then use those results to make future decisions with your referring doctor about your health and treatment options moving forward. A radiologist can also treat diseases through radiation oncology or image-guided therapeutic intervention.
Services Offered by Radiologists
There are a variety of services, tests, and procedures offered by radiologists. In most instances, you will be referred to a radiology specialist by either your primary physician or another medical professional for medical imaging to help diagnose and treat your condition. Some of the most common services offered at radiology clinics or departments include:
- Breast imaging – High-quality images help doctors detect early signs of breast cancer in women.
- X-ray – Also known as radiographs, x-rays are the most commonly known type of imaging where small, safe doses of ionized radiation are used to produce an image doctors can interpret to diagnose broken bones or other medical problems.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – Magnetic fields and radio waves create detailed images of internal organs, the spinal cord, the brain, joints, and blood vessels.
- Computed tomography (CT) – Also known as a Computed Axial Tomography (CAT), this test uses x-ray beams that rotate around the patient to create three-dimensional images on a computer of a specific body part. In some cases, radiologists will inject contrast into the veins or have the patient ingest it for more detailed results.
- Fluoroscopy – Whereas an x-ray is a singular image, fluoroscopy is a continuous x-ray projected on a monitor reflecting in detail the movement of a body part or in some cases the movement of an instrument or contrast agent.
- Cancer imaging and intervention – Used by doctors to accurately detect, monitor, and in some cases treat specific types of cancer
- Nuclear medicine – Radiotracers (small amounts of radioactive materials) are introduced to the body either through injection, inhalation, or ingestion and then move through a specific area of the body, giving off gamma rays. These rays are seen by a camera and reflected as images on a computer screen to help detect early signs of disease.
- Orthopedic injections – Used to see cartilage tears in joints or damage to the vertebrae.
- Ultrasound – Another well known medical imaging technique where sound waves are used to produce a real-time, moving picture of the inside of the body without using ionizing radiation. While it’s most commonly known as a way to see a baby inside a pregnant woman, it’s also used to diagnose causes of pain, swelling, and infection.
- Vascular and interventional procedures – Minimally invasive procedures that are completed thanks to image-guiding to diagnose and treat diseases. Compared to major surgery, these procedures are less risky, cause less pain, and have shorter recovery times.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding risks or specifics surrounding any test, service, or procedure, be sure to talk to your doctor or the radiologist in charge. Radiological tests and services should only be prescribed and carried out by professional and certified doctors and radiologists
Top Radiologists and Clinics in Boston
Whether you’re visiting your primary care doctor, a specialist, or a surgeon, it’s important to know the medical professional you’re going to is not just qualified to do the job but has a reputation for being one of the best in their field. Feeling comfortable with a radiologist is one of the most important things to consider before beginning any tests or services.
If you live in the Boston area and are in need of a radiologist, consider the following clinics:
Massachusetts General Hospital Radiological Association
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Phone number: 617-726-2000
- Dr. Jeanne B. Ackman
- Dr. Debra A. Gervais
- Dr. Matthew D. Gilman
- Dr. Susanna In-Sun Lee
- Dr. Constance D. Lehman
- Dr. Peter Mueller
- Dr. William E. Palmer
Brigham & Women’s Hospital Department Radiology
75 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02115
Phone number: 617-732-6266
- Dr. Carol B. Benson
- Dr. Christine M. Denison
- Dr. Peter M. Doubilet
- Dr. Mary C. Frates
Newton-Wellesley Hospital Radiology Department
2014 Washington St.
Newton, MA 02462
- Dr. William C. Dennison Jr.
- Dr. Edna S. Hamilton
- Dr. Joan K. Rastegar
- Dr. A. Alan Semine
Lahey Hospital & Medical Center Department of Radiology
Address: 41 Burlington Mail Road
Burlington, MA 01805
Phone number: 781-744-5100
- Dr. Karen Reuter
- Dr. Christoph Wald
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Department Radiology
Address: 330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
Phone number: 617-754-9500
Business hours: 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday
- Dr. Jonathan B. Kruskal
- Dr. H. Esterbrook Longmaid III
Commonwealth Radiology Associates (18 locations across the Boston area)
Address: 1342 Belmont Street #205
Brockton, MA 02301
Interventional Radiology at Boston Medical Center
Address: 830 Harrison Ave 1st Floor
Boston, MA 02118
Phone number: 617-638-6642
Business hours: 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday
Unfortunately, even when you trust your health to the best medical professionals in the area, sometimes things can go wrong. Malpractice as a result of radiology errors are unfortunately common, and the results can be devastating. If you have been the victim of radiology malpractice in the Boston area, Crowe & Harris, LLP can help you pursue a claim for compensation. With our help, you may be able to recover money to pay for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, rehabilitative expenses, and more. To learn more about how we can help you after malpractice in Boston, contact our radiology malpractice team today at (617) 404-3417.