According to a 2023 report performed by Medality, which surveyed over 2,700 radiologists, the average number of subspecialties radiologists are focusing on in their daily practice is 4.7. Neuroradiology, Musculoskeletal Radiology, Gastrointestinal Radiology, Genitourinary Radiology, and Chest Radiology are the most common subspecialities radiologists are reading in, each with over 44% of radiologists reading within in each subspecialty. 40% of those surveyed are reading General Radiology, which means they read across all subspecialties. While the trend in Radiology is to focus on increased specialization to reduce reporting errors, misdiagnosis or underdiagnosis, and consistency across reporting, the high demand and increasing volumes of diagnostic imaging coupled with the increasing shortage of Radiologists to perform the reads in resulting in Radiologists reading in subspecialities outside their comfort zone within their daily practice.
The biggest takeaway from the study, however, was the confidence reported by the Radiologists in reading across these subspecialities.
While 53% reported reading Neuroradiology in their daily practice, only 16% of the radiologists reporting as being very confident in reading Neuroradiology studies. The same percentage reported reading Musculoskeletal exams, but only 15% reported as being very confident in their Musculoskeletal readings. This pattern continues across all subspecialities, including Pediatric Radiology, in which only 4% of the 20% reporting as very confident in their reading of the studies. In total, less than 1/4 of the radiologists felt they were very confident in reading in each subspeciality they currently read in their daily practice. 27% of Cardiac readers report not being confident reading Cardiac studies.
Having a subspecialty radiologist take a second look at your radiology imaging means you are having a radiologist who is very confident in their reading of your exam. Confidence in reading comes from consistent focus and dedication to a radiologists' specific subspecialty and the subspecialty that each radiologist is most interested and engaged in studying.