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Towards better metainterpretation: improving the clinician’s interpretation of the radiology report

Kevin M. Johnson
From the journal Diagnosis


How the clinician interprets the radiology report has a major impact on the patient’s care. It is a crucial cognitive task, and can also be a significant source of error. Because the clinician must secondarily interpret the radiologist’s interpretation of the images, this step can be referred to as a “metainterpretation”. Some considerations for that task are offered from the perspective of a radiologist. A revival of the tradition of discussing cases with the radiologist is encouraged.

Corresponding author: Kevin M. Johnson, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale School of Medicine Thompkins, East 2 333 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT, 06520, USA, Phone: 203 430 9798, E-mail:


The author would like to acknowledge helpful discussions with Thilan Wijesekera, M.D.

  1. Research funding: None declared.

  2. Author contributions: All authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this manuscript and approved its submission.

  3. Competing interests: Authors state no conflict of interest.


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Received: 2020-06-09
Accepted: 2020-06-17
Published Online: 2020-07-20
Published in Print: 2021-08-26

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