To the editor of THE EAGLE:
As a former radiologist with more than 25 years of experience at North Adams Regional Hospital, I read your story "BMC opens outpatient imaging center at former NARH site" with great interest. What is lacking in this facility is the presence of a radiologist. Why does this matter if the images are being interpreted at BMC?
A radiologist is a trained physician who has spent at least four more years after medical school learning how to interpret medical images. A radiologist not only utilizes this expert knowledge in the interpretation of medical images, but also provides other, equally important, functions. The radiologist is able to consult with the referring doctors about which studies are best suited to address the medical problems at hand. The radiologist is then able to help both the referring doctor and the patient understand the significance of the findings. Frequently these results can be communicated to the referring doctor before the patient has even left the imaging department.
There are no radiologists staffing the imaging center at the former NARH. This is not a Radiology Department. This is not proper medical care. Both the physicians and the patients will suffer as a result of this situation.
Henry M. Gold, M.D.