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  • Disclosure of Radiological Error

  • The correct answer to Question 2 is either B (“the calcifications are larger and are now suspicious for cancer) or C (“the calcifications may have increased on your last mammogram, but their appearance was not as worrisome as they are now”).  

    When these breast imagers were asked what information they would disclose to the patient, after telling her that there were suspicious calcifications, 24% reported that they would “not say anything further to the patient,” 31% “the calcifications are larger and are now suspicious for cancer,” 30% “the calcifications may have increased on your last mammogram, but their appearance was not as worrisome as it is now,” and 15% “an error occurred during the interpretation of your last mammogram, and the calcifications had actually increased in number, not decreased.”

    In other words, radiologists in this survey were generally reluctant to disclose the error, and only 15% would opt to provide the full truth to the patient openly and transparently.

     


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