"Radiologist Misinterpreted image...what do I tell the lawyers?"

Quickie Consult 1087
Narratives 87 N

From the Desk of Dr. Mark Studin
Academy of Chiropractic

Preamble: Many of the issues I bring to you are very small, yet each issue is just that, an issue. If you take care of the small issues, then you will be able to build and more importantly, focus on the bigger issues...a larger practice and more family time. -Mark Studin 2006

"Radiologist Misinterpreted image...what do I tell the lawyers"

Dr. Studin: Good morning Scott. What's going on?

Guest Doctor: So, I had an attorney contacted me about doing a file review and so they'd been treated by another doctor. And so, I get the file and I'm looking through the images and I compare what I found with what the radiologist found. And the radiologist had reported 0405 disc bulge. And then the number three he goes on to say the absence of degenerative osteophytes regarding this bulge at all 4551 these bulges may be acute and may reflect disc injuries. Clinical correlations needed to determine if the patient's symptoms match the levels of these bulges and if they're related to per accident date. That was the end of the report. So when I look at her images, I don't see any of that. Of course they don't see the side. I don't see a bulge. And so then I called the rep that I talked to from there and I'm going to get a re-read.

Dr. Studin: By who?

Guest Doctor: By a neuroradiologist.

Dr. Studin: Okay, that's fine.

Guest Doctor: So now I'm stuck with how do I report this for the attorney? I know it's gotta be accurate.

Dr. Studin: Okay. So, here's the issue. First of all, do you normally refer to this imaging company?

Guest Doctor: Yes, I do.

Dr. Studin: Why is it general radiologist, even looking at your images, that should never happen.

Guest Doctor: This isn't my patient.

Dr. Studin: Got it. Okay. You got it from someone else.

Guest Doctor: This is an attorney that I don't know who ask for help from another attorney who uses me.

Dr. Studin: Okay, you're doing a PIMA

Guest Doctor: Pretty much, yeah. But whatever you find, he said go ahead and treat her.

Dr. Studin: Got It. Okay. So, what you need to do was call up the lawyer and, the lawyer of record is not the one you're friendly with, but the other lawyer he kind of doing a favor for, correct?

Guest Doctor: Correct.

Dr. Studin: Okay. You call up that lawyer, you get him on the phone and say, listen, I want to let you know that, I'm a chiropractor. You know, just like every other chiropractor. However, I am trauma qualified. I'm in a trauma fellowship program and spinal biomechanics and, I interpret, I know how to interpret MRIs and I've been trained through the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine, and you've been in Ohio, they'll know SUNY buffalo medical school because it's not that far. So right away all of a sudden you have a level of credibility. You call them up and say, listen, I looked at the image, the general radiologist who read this was terribly wrong, just wrong. None of the things he reported are on here and he's not a neuroradiologist and if you don't understand the difference, I'll be happy to explain it to you.

So, as I look at these all long, every day, and this is, it's just incorrect. So, I requested it be read by a neuroradiologist as specializes in brain and spine. You know, as a third opinion, kind of like the tiebreaker is the arbiter of what's happening. But his report is incorrect. And I want to send you a piece of literature, scientific literature, which shows that general radiologist have a 43.6% error rate. You know, I'm not crazy. It's just, you know, it's in the literature, which is why we never do this. But the worst thing you could possibly do is take this case and try to argue and to go to trial with these findings and you got nothing and you're going to lose. It's going to cost you a lot of time, energy, and money. So, let's just get to the bottom of this.

We're going to get an addendum. We're going to get it read properly and we're going to get it to you. So, this is why Mr so and so wanted me to, you know, weigh in on this because you know, he obviously doesn't want you to be hurt either. And that's how you do it. Okay. You just, here's a novel concept. You Ready? You just going to tell the truth.

Guest Doctor: Right, exactly.

Dr. Studin: And if he doesn't like it and he's one of these lawyer whores and says “oh well he gave me a positive finding. I don't give a crap if it's right or wrong.” Then you say, listen, then you know what, I'm backing out. I'm not doing anything. My name is not going on this. Because if it does, it might say something totally different. And if that's how you want to run your practice, that's between you and your client.

Not between you and me, but I just want to let you know the report's not accurate. And you can't be afraid of telling the truth. You can't be afraid of being honest and being transparent and not being a whore. You are who you are and it's that level of integrity that will attract you every single lawyer you want to work with.

Because if they'll accept this level of inaccuracy, cause they can make 50 bucks, the next thing you know, they will work with you and say, listen, can you just write, I know nothing's there but can you write there's a little herniation from the accident or a little bulge just cause I can get a couple of bucks out of it, and if you do, I could send you a lot more. It will never end, and they will own you for the rest of your career. All it takes is one transgression, but you're doing the right thing. 

 

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