The A4D Advantage

Fellowship Trained Sub-specialized Radiologists

You wouldn’t want a general surgeon to do the work of a neurosurgeon. So why should you want a general radiologist to read a brain or spinal MRI? The answer is simple: you shouldn’t.

General radiologists aren’t inherently bad, but they do lack the specialized skills of fellowship trained, sub-specialized radiologists. These radiologists go above and beyond in certain areas after their required four-year residency in radiology. Fellowship trained radiologists become authorities in their field during an additional one to three years of training, learning to identify pathology and injuries in their chosen area of expertise. They work alongside surgeons to compare and verify their diagnoses on imaging to the pathological specimens and injuries seen in surgery. They are even trained to discern the difference between acute (real!) injuries and degenerative/chronic/preexisting conditions.

Our fellowship trained, sub-specialized radiologists won’t just tell you want you want to hear, of course. That’s because they tell you the black and white truth based on the imaging you send. In fact, more than 40% of the time, our fellowship trained radiologists disagree with the original report. This is often because of an over-read by an under-qualified radiologist. 

What does a read by a sub-specialized radiologist mean for you? A fellowship trained, sub-specialized radiologist can determine if an injury claim is legitimate or preexisting greater than 80% of the time. Simply put, it’s the difference between excessive payouts for inflated claims with unnecessary surgery and confidently paying those who are actually injured and who deserve efficient, competent, and complete care. 

The Stats

Fellowship trained radiologists can provide better patient care. In fact, studies that assess the value of sub-specialized, fellowship trained radiologists show that: 

  • Disagreement rates between sub-specialized reads and non-sub-specialized reads are reported to be as high as 37.9% and have been found to affect treatment in 24.8% of cases.3
  • Studies comparing musculoskeletal radiologists to general radiologists consistently show that sub-specialized radiologists outperform the latter in accuracy.1,2
  • Reads from a sub-specialized radiologist can reduce costs by helping to avoid unnecessary exams and procedures.3
  • In a study from the American Journal of Roentgenology, 26.2% of 2,326 musculoskeletal exam reads were found to have clinically significant discrepancies in the findings between a general and sub-specialized radiologist.4

Our Sources

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