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Radiology Research and Practice
Volume 2013, Article ID 219259, 10 pages
Review Article

Malpractice in Radiology: What Should You Worry About?

1Department of Radiological Sciences, “Sapienza” University of Rome, 324 Viale Regina Elena, 00161 Rome, Italy
2Department of Anatomical, Histological, Forensic Medicine and Orthopedic Sciences, “Sapienza” University of Rome, 336 Viale Regina Elena, 00161 Rome, Italy

Received 13 January 2013; Revised 14 March 2013; Accepted 15 March 2013

Academic Editor: Ali Guermazi

Copyright © 2013 Alessandro Cannavale et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Over recent years the professional role of the radiologist has been evolved due to the increasing involvement in the clinical management of the patient. Radiologists have thus been increasingly charged by new duties and liabilities, exposing them to higher risks of legal claims made against them. Malpractice lawsuits in radiology are commonly related to inappropriate medical care or to the poor physician-patient relationship. In the present paper, we provide overview of the basic principles of the medical malpractice law and the main legal issues and causes of legal actions against diagnostic and interventional radiologists. We also address some issues to help radiologists to reduce risks and consequences of malpractice lawsuits. These include (1) following the standard of care to the best of their ability, (2) cautious use of off-label devices, (3) better communication skills among healthcare workers and with the patient, and (4) ensuring being covered by adequate malpractice insurance. Lastly, we described definitions of some medicolegal terms and concepts that are thought to be useful for radiologists to know.