Occasionally, a radiologist may have “tunnel vision,” focusing only on those tissues or structures relevant to the clinical concern that prompted the imaging study. Likewise, an ordering physician may review only part of a radiology report and miss an important “incidental” finding noted by the radiologist. Both are common fact patterns in malpractice cases involving radiology studies.
Indeed, in some cases, it may not even be clear initially who bears responsibility for a misread. Radiology studies performed in large academic medical centers are often interpreted initially by physicians-in-training (medical residents or fellows) working under the direction and supervision of attending radiologists. At smaller hospitals, radiology studies may be reviewed remotely by radiologists who may be anywhere in the country; this practice is known as teleradiology. Some hospitals use teleradiology during overnight hours or on weekends.