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X-RAY, MRI, CT, Ultrasound Images, Disks, Films, and Reports

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Sometimes when we refer patients to specialists, patients are asked to bring to their appointment with the specialist items such as the following:

  • Images, disks, or films of previous X-Ray, MRI, CT, or ultrasound tests (i.e. a picture that can actually be viewed, not just a written summary thereof)
  • Reports of previous X-Ray, MRI, CT or ultrasound tests (i.e. a written summary of what a radiologist reviewed, which typically does not include any pictures)

Typically, your Arbour Family Medical physician does not have direct access to images, disks, scans, or films of your previous X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, or ultrasounds, whether they are recent or not.

If you have been instructed to bring any of these materials to your appointment, it is necessary for you to contact the testing facility directly to obtain a suitable copy.

However, when initially referring you to a specialist, your Arbour Family Medical physician generally attaches all relevant reports. In the event that the specialist has requested specific or additional reports to be brought to your appointment, please inform us, and we will provide any we have available. It is important to note that attaching reports is the usual practice since it is typically the extent of the information we have available.


Do Arbour Family Medical Physician's Want Copies Of Imaging For Their Own Records?

While specialists may sometimes want to review the images, family physicians typically do not. Here's why:

In general, the interpretation of medical imaging such as x-rays, MRIs, CTs, and ultrasounds are completed by highly specialized physicians known as radiologists. Radiologists undergo an additional five years of training after completing medical school to acquire the expertise needed for this role.

Family physicians and radiologists work together in that the radiologists interpret medical images and supply reports to the family physician that summarizes their conclusion. Family physicians rely on these reports rather than attempting to interpret the images themselves. It is worth mentioning that some specialists may have sufficient training to find the images useful as well.

Additionally, opening and accessing medical images requires specialized software and hardware that we do not have access to in the ordinary course.


Proud Partners of the Guelph Family Health Team.

Arbour Family Medical Centre offers comprehensive health care services for the whole family.

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