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  • Frequently Asked Questions about X-ray

    • Why do you have to take so many films?
      The body is a three dimensional structure, but an x-ray is only two dimensional. Thus, on a single x-ray, the different parts of the body are superimposed on one another or may overlap one another. By taking several x-rays in different positions, we can better visualize the bones and soft tissues to detect an abnormality.
    • Why does the radiologist have to look at my films? Doesn't my doctor look at them?
      A radiologist is a medical doctor specially trained to interpret x-rays. At Rhode Island Hospital, all of our radiologists are board certified by the American Board of Radiology. Sometimes your doctor will request to see your x-rays in addition to having the radiologist interpret them. In this case, you can take your films with you after they have been read by the radiologist.
    • Does my doctor need to see my x-rays?
      Usually a written report from the radiologist is sufficient. Some doctors such as orthopedic surgeons and urologists do need to see the x-rays and will ask you to bring the films.
    • Do you (the technologist) see anything wrong with my x-rays?
      The technologists are not qualified to read your x-rays. When the technologist checks them, it is to make sure the quality is good enough for the radiologist to interpret them.
    • I was here first, why did someone go in before me?
      At Rhode Island Hospital we offer many services in addition to x-rays which require different equipment. Another person in the waiting room may be having an ultrasound or CAT scan and thus is waiting in a different "line."
    • How and when will I get the results of the exam?
      After the study is finished, one of our board-certified radiologists will interpret the study and send a report to your doctor.

    For more information about general radiology at The Miriam Hospital, call 401-793-4522 or e-mail