Frequently Asked Questions about X-ray
Why do you have to take so many films?
The body is a three dimensional structure, but an x-ray is only
two dimensional. Thus, on a single x-ray, the different parts of
the body are superimposed on one another or may overlap one
another. By taking several x-rays in different positions, we can
better visualize the bones and soft tissues to detect an
Why does the radiologist have to look at my films? Doesn't my
doctor look at them?
A radiologist is a medical doctor specially trained to interpret
x-rays. At Rhode Island Hospital, all of our radiologists are
board certified by the American Board of Radiology. Sometimes
your doctor will request to see your x-rays in addition to
having the radiologist interpret them. In this case, you can
take your films with you after they have been read by the
Does my doctor need to see my x-rays?
Usually a written report from the radiologist is sufficient.
Some doctors such as orthopedic surgeons and urologists do need
to see the x-rays and will ask you to bring the films.
Do you (the technologist) see anything wrong with my x-rays?
The technologists are not qualified to read your x-rays. When
the technologist checks them, it is to make sure the quality is
good enough for the radiologist to interpret them.
I was here first, why did someone go in before me?
At Rhode Island Hospital we offer many services in addition to
x-rays which require different equipment. Another person in the
waiting room may be having an ultrasound or CAT scan and thus is
waiting in a different "line."
How and when will I get the results of the exam?
After the study is finished, one of our board-certified
radiologists will interpret the study and send a report to your
For more information about general radiology at The Miriam
Hospital, call 401-793-4522 or e-mail LPangalos@lifespan.org.