Academy of Chiropractic Personal Injury & Primary Spine Care Program

Quickie Consult 197

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.

“Reporting Testing Results”

Over the last few years, I have seen many variations of reporting specialists' findings on MRI's, x-rays, EMG's, etc. Many of you erroneously report it as follows: 
On 1/2/10, Oakwood Hospital performed x-rays of the chest and left shoulder. The following conclusions have been rendered: blah, blah, blah...
This type of reporting doesn't have a level of responsibility of who performed the interpretation. Who interpreted the film is required because that is the person responsible, not the institution. This becomes a medical-legal issue and in most states becomes a "hearsay" issue and inadmissible.

As reported by Wikipedia at

Hearsay is the legal term that describes statements made outside of court or other judicial proceedings. Unless one of about thirty exceptions applies, hearsay is not allowed as evidence in the United States. The Hearsay Rule is an analytic rule of evidence that defines hearsay and provides for both exceptions and exemptions from that rule. There is no all-encompassing definition of hearsay in the United States. However, most evidentiary codes defining hearsay adopt verbatim the rule as laid out in the Federal Rules of Evidence. which generally defines hearsay as a "statement, other than one made by the declarant while testifying at the trial or hearing, offered in evidence to prove the truth of the matter asserted." Historically, the rule against hearsay is aimed at prohibiting the use of a person's assertion, as equivalent to testimony to the fact asserted, unless theassertor is brought to testify in court where he may be placed under oath and cross-examined.

As stated above, unless the lawyers can cross-examine the person who actually created the opinion, most courts will not allow the findings to be presented as evidence. The simplest way to resolve every issue is to read the films or test results yourself and to do that in many states, you need to have the credentials behind you.
Take the courses and get the credentials and become known as a serious expert to the medical-legal community. Short of that, please refer to the actual person, not the entity who interpreted the films.
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