Hot Button brings different viewpoints to big issues

March 4, 2005

Few issues trouble physicians as much as medical malpractice, and radiologists are certainly not exempt from this concern. Topics of this sort are ideal for a feature we've presented for several years: the "Hot Button" questions on topical issues in medical imaging. Most recently, we asked readers whether medical malpractice needs a national solution along the lines of the limits on pain and suffering awards now in effect in California and other states. Some of the responses that were recorded at our Hot Button site at diagnosticimaging.com are printed in the Mailbox section on page 8.

Few issues trouble physicians as much as medical malpractice, and radiologists are certainly not exempt from this concern. Topics of this sort are ideal for a feature we've presented for several years: the "Hot Button" questions on topical issues in medical imaging. Most recently, we asked readers whether medical malpractice needs a national solution along the lines of the limits on pain and suffering awards now in effect in California and other states. Some of the responses that were recorded at our Hot Button site at diagnosticimaging.com are printed in the Mailbox section on page 8.

We promote the Hot Button question here in the magazine and in our e-mail newsletter. As a result, we receive responses from radiologists who read Diagnostic Imaging and also from many nonphysicians with an interest in medical imaging who receive the e-mail newsletter. You'll find both groups represented in this month's Mailbox section.

One of the values of this approach is that it allows us to gather opinions from outside the confines of radiology. One particularly poignant comment came from a business consultant who explained how the limits made it impossible to pursue what he considered a valid claim. Many physicians will disagree with this viewpoint, but they should be aware of it.

We'll be archiving the old Hot Button questions and launching a new format, but we will continue to use the feature to probe important issues in imaging. Please consider logging on to diagnosticimaging.com to add your voice to these discussions.

John C. Hayes is editor of Diagnostic Imaging