Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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.