Medical Practice

Use of Radiological Facilities by General Practitioners

Br Med J 1974; 3 doi: (Published 21 September 1974) Cite this as: Br Med J 1974;3:732
  1. W. J. Mair,
  2. J. S. Berkeley,
  3. L. A. Gillanders,
  4. W. M. C. Allen


    The 11,360 direct referrals to diagnostic radiological facilities by general practitioners in the Aberdeen area during 1973 were studied. These represented about 12% of the adult radiology performed in the main x-ray departments of the city, and barium meal examinations amounted to half of all such outpatient contrast examinations. Chest x-ray and barium meal examinations were the most frequently used procedures.

    Some abnormality was detected at 34% of all examinations, and the barium meal examinations requested by general practitioners showed a similar percentage of abnormal findings to those requested by Aberdeen hospital doctors.

    The average referral rate for all practices was 24·6 per 1,000 practice population per year. Singlehanded general practitioners referred fewer patients for diagnostic radiology than those working in group practices, and rural practitioners referred fewer than urban general practitioners. This trend was emphasized at a distance greater than 15 miles from the city.

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