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Radiology Daily
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The Radiology Report – Part I

December 31, 2007
Written by: , Filed in: Practice Management
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Carefully Crafted Reports Require Care and Observation of Findings
Stephen R. Baker, MD, Guest Presentation for Practical Reviews in Radiology
The written report is the key document by which radiologists communicate with referring physicians. What we write is permanent, and we are responsible for everything put in and left out. The report should be journalistic in its aptness and brevity. It should be pertinent, accurate, specific, anatomically correct, incisive in its observations, humanistic in its considerations, and stylistically unobtrusive. At the same time it should be free as much as possible of obfuscation.
A good rule of thumb is this:
If you want to be understood by a few, use jargon; however, if you don’t want to be misunderstood by many, use English. Things to avoid in the report are nonspecific words such as “some” and “aspect,” euphemisms such as “unremarkable,” neologisms such as “hyperdensity,” and non-informative phrases such as “the ET tube is in good position.” A carefully crafted report requires as much care as the observation of findings. Both are essential components of our expertise
Author: Stephen R. Baker, MD

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