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

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)

In general, your Magenta Health physician does not have access to any prior images, disks, scans, or films of previous X-Ray, MRI, CT, or ultrasound tests. Instead, if you have been asked to bring to your appointment any of this material, you will need to contact the testing facility directly to obtain a suitable copy.

In contrast, as a general rule, your Magenta Health physician will have attached all relevant reports when first referring you to the specialist. That being said, if you have been asked by the specialist to bring to your appointment any specific or additional reports, please let us know and we can supply what we have available. To be clear, we usually attach the reports because that's usually all that we have access to.

Do Magenta Health family 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 typically complete 5 years of additional training (i.e. after completing medical school) in order to do this job.

Family physicians and radiologists work together in that radiologists interpret medical images and supply reports to the family physician that summarizes their conclusion. These reports are what family physicians will rely on, instead of seeking to attempt to interpret the medical images themselves. (As noted, some specialists do have enough training to find the images useful as well).

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