spacer About independent-dr and
Frequently Asked Questions:
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spacer Mission Statement:
Our mission is to provide independent, unbiased, expert radiology interpretations with a smile.

independent-dr Services:
[1] independent-dr provides expert interpretation of MRI scans from independent MRI centers and attorneys.

[2] We provide primary reads and second opinion interpretations of MRI scans, CT scans, nuclear medicine, ultrasound or plain film radiography.

[3] We promise accurate and consitent readings by a board-certified fellowship-trained MRI specialist with a Ph.D. in magnetic resonance.

[4] Turn-around time for primary clinical interpretations is usually within 48 hours. Second opinions are usually read within 4 weeks, but upgrades to ASAP can be arranged by phone.

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spacer Frequently Asked Questions:
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What is needed for the best MRI interpretation?
For the best MRI interpretation, the referring physician should provide a complete history. The reading will address any findings that may be responsible for the patient's symptoms. Any specific questions will be answered in the impression. A copy of office notes or previous operative notes would be helpful. Any previous films including CT, MRI, nuclear scans or plain films that are supplied will be correlated with the MRI scan and returned promptly.

When do you look at the histories?
All studies are reviewed without history first, so that the history does not bias the interpretation of the images. Then, the history is reviewed and the study is reviewed again if the clinical question has not been answered, so that the interpretation can be tailored to the needs of the patient.

Why do you delay reading MRI scans if plain films or other previous images are not supplied?
In most cases, the MRI may be read without any prior images for comparison. However, it is always easier to make a confident MRI diagnosis when you have the priors for confirmation. Tentative diagnoses of calcific tendinitis, osteophytes, myositis ossificans, fibrous dysplasia, fibrous cortical defects, encondromas, hematoma, hemorrhages, and fractures are made obvious when the MRI scan is correlated with plain films or CT scans or bone scans. In fact, about 5-20% of readings change with plain film correlation at the time of the reading. For example, an interpretation without plain films may read 'narrow desiccated disc bulge or protrusion or osteophyte...' while the same scan read in conjunction with the plain films can state 'left posterolateral osteophytes compressing the cord 20% at C4-5.'

If prior images are required, but not delivered within 3 business days, a report will be issued without correlation. Reports done later, after delayed arrival of previous images, will incur new charges as if the images are being read for the first time.

Why did you drop "St. Petersburg" from "St. Petersburg Independent Diagnostic Radiology?"
You may have noticed a change in our website, reports, and letterhead. We are dropping “St. Petersburg” from our name. Although we are still proud to be in St. Pete and to work in the Tampa Bay area, shortening our name makes it easier to say, reflects our expanding customer base outside the State of Florida, and avoids a confusing acronym. We will now be known as “Independent Diagnostic Radiology.” You can depend on us for independent, unbiased, expert radiology interpretations, with a smile.

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spacer Vacation Questions:
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What is your vacation policy?
I love my work. I devote most of my time to my profession. However, there is more to life than work, and no one ever wished on their deathbed that they had spent more time working and less with their families. I intend to play as hard as I work, and for that I make no apology.

Why don't you get a locum tenens physician to cover you when you are gone?
The credentialling requirements of the dozens of insurance plans make it impossible to get a locum tenens physician credentialled in time for coverage, even if I started six months before my vacation. It would not do any good to hire someone who could not read for a subset of the patients. Besides, even at my previous position where I had six good MR readers backing me up when I was away, I always came back to a large stack of studies to read or overread when I returned.

What should a referring physician do while you are gone?
Please instruct the imaging centers to hold non-emergency scans until I return. Have your emergency cases read elsewhere. I will be glad to look at them when I return if you want. A verbal report is no charge. A written overread will be billed to the imaging center, so I will need a written prescription for the overread and preauthorization.

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For questions or comments on this web site, please eMail us at mdherbst@independent-dr.com