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Logo of jroyalcgpracBJGP at RCGPBJGP at PubMed CentralJ R Coll Gen Pract at PubMed CentralRCGP homepage
J R Coll Gen Pract. 1979 September; 29(206): 539-544, 545.
PMCID: PMC2159286

An evaluation of direct access radiology in general practice


An analysis of the use of direct access to radiology by 71 general practitioners in Scotland is described and is based on 2,596 x-ray examinations in 2,409 patients during a period of six months. Almost half of the patients had to travel more than five miles for their examinations, but time lost in travelling was a much less important factor than the interval elapsing before the requested examination was completed. Nearly one third waited at least two weeks. Referral for diagnosis was by far the commonest reason and direct access was estimated to save 270 hospital outpatient appointments per month. I believe that general practitioners under-use rather than abuse radiology, which might be extended by a selective system of appointments.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Cook PL. Experiences in the first year of an "open door" x-ray department. Br Med J. 1966 Aug 6;2(5509):351–354. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Davis RH, Williams JE. X-ray unit for general practitioners. Br Med J. 1968 Feb 24;1(5590):502–504. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Mair WJ, Berkeley JS, Gillanders LA, Allen WM. Use of radiological facilities by general practitioners. Br Med J. 1974 Sep 21;3(5933):732–734. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wallace BB, Millward D, Parsons AS, Davis RH. Unrestricted access by general practitioners to a department of diagnostic radiology. J R Coll Gen Pract. 1973 May;23(130):337–343. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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