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If you aren’t sure how to find a radiologist, remember that it isn’t any different to finding a vet, booking a hotel or buying a TV. Just follow these tips! There are a number of ways you can choose between centers when you’re trying to find a radiologist. And they’re no different to how you buy things online or in real life.

Not sure what we mean? Well, here’s our list of the five of the most important things to look for in a radiologist.

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Consistent positive reviews, and an excellent reputation

The most important thing to look for when you’re trying to find a radiologist is how highly they’re rated by patients who’ve been there before. Reviews can tell you about everything from how much the clinicians care about their patients, to the quality of the facilities on offer. Generally, problems in these areas show through in reviews, and shape the reputation of the clinic.

Especially useful are recommendations from family or friends. These are like power-reviews, which can help you find a clinic based on advice you can trust. So if anybody you know can recommend a clinic, be it a friend or a neighbor, listen to their advice and consider going to the same one yourself.

Dedication to patient care

This is something you can find out more about from reviews, and from the information you can find on each center’s website. Just like in every other industry, some centers care more about your experience than others. Think of it like going to a restaurant: some places treat you like royalty, take care of your every need, and do it with a smile. Others couldn’t care less, and want you to finish your meal and get out as fast as possible! You might not think that the same rules apply to diagnostic centers, but they do.

If the reviews for a particular center say that the staff seemed unfriendly, or that each visit felt rushed, and that the radiologist felt that it was a chore just to do their job, then you can be certain that they aren’t dedicated to patient care. When you’re trying to find a radiologist, it’s absolutely vital that you pick one that cares about your experience. Aside from reviews, you can also check each center’s website. Based on how they describe what they do, and the things they think are most important, you can get a clearer picture of whether they care about their patients or not.

Is the radiologist a specialist or a generalist?

This point may not be as important as whether a center cares about their patients- but it’s still something to consider. Some have radiologists who specialise in certain techniques, like MRI or ultrasound. Others don’t, and instead rely on generalists who are adept in a number of techniques. There’s nothing wrong with receiving treatment from a generalist. Every single radiologist you will ever meet has gone through extensive medical training. But if you’ve had CT scans already from a generalist, and received inconclusive results, you may want to be referred to a CT specialist.

What did you think of their communication?

When you emailed or called the center, how long did it take for them to answer? Were the staff polite and kind? And if you’ve already been for an appointment, are the staff there generally nice people? While you’re there for a diagnostic scan, the staff at the clinic should do their best to put you at ease during what might be a stressful or unhappy time. This is what we mean when we say that you should consider the communication skills of the staff at the clinics you’re looking at, or that your physician refers you to. Because the friendliness of the staff makes all the difference between a happy visit, and an unhappy visit.

Access to the latest technology and equipment

Not all radiology centers are equal! Some are happy to keep using older equipment, not necessarily outdated, but not as accurate as modern machines. We use a state of the art Siemens Harmony MR system, for instance, which gives us great diagnostic detail. But other centers aren’t as concerned with keeping up to date.

Using the latest technology and equipment is important. That’s because older, less advanced scanners don’t give the detail that newer ones do. It’s important that your scans are as detailed as possible. The finer detail that your radiologist can see, the more likely they are to accurately spot and diagnose nascent conditions. This is especially useful when you think of cancer or lesions. These conditions can grow, spread or otherwise get worse over time. It’s also important that your radiologist has access to the right equipment, short-bore MRI scanners being a great example. People over a certain weight, and anybody who’s claustrophobic, won’t be able to use a regular MRI scanner because of it’s shape. But with a short-bore scanner, they can be more comfortable.

Most diagnostic centers state what kind of equipment they use on their website. If they don’t, you’re always free to ask them, although we can’t guarantee that they’ll tell you if they aren’t packing machinery to be proud of! If you’re unhappy with the equipment at the diagnostic center you’ve been referred to, you should inform your doctor before you have to go. They can find a radiologist who suits your needs better.