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ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 227-232

Malpractice and medicolegal issues in radiology practice: knowledge base for residency trainees and trainers


Department of Radiation Biology, Radiotherapy, Radiodiagnosis & Radiography College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
R A Arogundade
Department of Radiation Biology, Radiotherapy, Radiodiagnosis & Radiography College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, Lagos
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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BACKGROUND: Medical malpractice is a global problem of professional negligence resulting in damage or harm to a patient due to deviation from accepted standards of practice. Radiology service delivery to patients from all the four major medical disciplines and the ever increasing imaging arsenal potentially increase the incidence of adverse events in radiology. It is pertinent therefore, that radiology practitioners become conversant with the regulatory role of the medical malpractice system in the protection of the right of patients. AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: To document the knowledge base of medical malpractice in current literature in order to arouse the awareness of radiology residency trainees and trainers to this all-important professional practising issue. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Literature materials on medical malpractice in general and Radiology in particular were reviewed. Four illustrative case reports from past experiences were highlighted. Discussion was carried out on the historical perspective, classes, defendant status, legal requirements and prevention of medical malpractice. RESULTS: Discovery of x-ray in 1895 shifted focus of medical malpractice matters to Radiology. Practically all imaging techniques, including US, CT, MRI have been subject of malpractice lawsuits. Cognitive and perceptual diagnostic errors constitute 70% of malpractice cases against radiologists. CONCLUSION: Adequate professional training, informed consent by the patient and improved doctor-patient relationship are basic to standard medical practice.


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