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.