CALIFORNIA – Radiologist Dr. Rachel Mondusa, while reading an abdominal CT scan, actually recommended against clinical correlation. A standard dictation line stated at the end of reports taught to all radiology residents in training, which hypothetically reduces liability is “Recommend clinical correlation.” “It’s like a freebie,” says Mondusa. “If you overcall a reading or miss something bad, you can always blame it on a missed or inaccurate clinical exam finding.”
However, last weekend Dr. Mondusa decided to recommend against clinical correlation when she realized who the ordering provider was.
“Yeah, I usually recommend clinical correlation for all of my exam readings, but when I saw it was Dr. Gubernath ordering the CT, I knew correlation may in fact kill the patient.”
Dr. Gubernath is well-known for making an incorrect diagnosis based upon his horrible physical-exam skills and clinical reasoning. “Clinical correlation could potentially have killed this patient, so I’m hoping he follows my advice in not correlating the study. I just flat-out told him the scan showed clear-cut appendicitis, call surgery.”