We have a board certified radiologist almost in our hospital
We have had every one of our radiographs read by a board certified radiologist since 1983. We started with Dr. James Burt, Diplomate ACVR, at The Ohio State University, and since he retired, we have used VetRad.
We do not pick and choose which patients get the advantage of having their radiographs submitted. We think they all deserve the very best. We do not allow the owner to opt out; every radiograph is read by a board certified radiologist, and the radiology consult fee is built in to our radiographic fees.
We also feel it is important to write our diagnosis on the submission form. Writing our diagnosis first, and then reviewing what the radiologist reports, makes every radiograph a potential learning case. This eliminates cheating, saying “Oh yeah, I saw that, but didn’t write it down”.
The more radiographs we have sent, the better we have become at reading cases. General practitioner veterinarians do not have the expertise that a board certified radiologist provides, and if you do not send your radiographs you are guaranteed to misread some cases. That is not acceptable at Westlake Animal Hospital.
A good example - two months ago, we submitted an abdomen with just a small part of the chest. We totally missed a primary pulmonary adenocarcinoma in a caudal lung lobe. The radiology report saved this dog’s life, as the tumor was recognized and the lung lobe removed.
Now that we are digital, the reports come back quickly. If submitted STAT….WOW, in minutes. What a great addition to have digital processing; we have a board certified radiologist almost in our hospital reading the radiographs immediately.