What is a radiology expert witness?
Radiologists are doctors who specialise in interpreting medical images to diagnose and treat various diseases and injuries. They use imaging technologies such as X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and ultrasound to obtain images of different parts of the body. Radiologists play an important role in diagnosing and managing a wide range of conditions, including cancer, fractures, and infections. They regularly feed into multidisciplinary teams to provide this information to the treating clinicians so that they can make informed decisions about patient care.
Radiologists must have in-depth knowledge of medical imaging techniques and the human anatomy, as well as an understanding of the underlying pathologies associated with various conditions.
There is a wide range of interventional techniques performed by radiologists, including:
- Oesophageal stenting
- Biliary drainage and stenting
- Needle biopsy
- Treatment of internal bleeding by injecting a clotting substance
- Treatment of arteriovenous malformations
How specialist is a radiology expert?
Radiology training in the UK typically involves a minimum of 7 years of postgraduate training, which includes 2 years of foundation training followed by 5 years of radiology training. Trainees in radiology generally complete 3 years of general radiology, including some experience in each subspeciality, and then 2 years of special interest training. Trainees must sit and pass exams leading to Fellowship of the Royal College of Radiologists. It is not uncommon for doctors to complete training in a different speciality, for example core medical training, before embarking on specialist radiology training.
Trainees with a special interest in interventional radiology will complete an extra year of training. This is the only subspecialty recognised by the GMC, however consultant radiologists often develop advanced expertise in specific areas of the specialty, such as:
Why might you need to instruct a radiology expert witness?
Radiologists cover a wide array of medical and surgical specialties and are often consulted by different medical professions. For this reason, many cases may benefit from evidence from a radiology expert witness. Radiologists are often consulted in personal injury disputes and cases of clinical negligence. This evidence can be important in establishing the nature and severity of an injury based on the evidence of medical imaging.
Because radiology is also an interventional speciality, as with any medical specialty unfortunately things sometimes go wrong, and so a radiology expert witness may be instructed to give evidence in a case where someone has suffered harm as a direct result of an interventional radiology procedure.
An example of a case of clinical negligence which would benefit from the expert evidence of a radiologist would be a young woman who has undergone a laparoscopic gastric bypass who presents to A+E with fever and abdominal pain. A CT scan would routinely be performed to exclude an abdominal abscess. This scan would be interpreted by a radiologist and these findings would inform the clinical pathway of this patient. The consequences of missing an abdominal abscess can include rupture of the abscess with resulting sepsis and can be fatal. Evidence from an experienced radiology expert witness would aid the court in understanding whether the radiologist reviewing the scan could have reasonably been expected to act differently, and whether this would have had an impact on the eventual outcome.
Other incidences where an expert in radiology may be instructed include:
What experts does Expert Court Reports have?
We have a highly experienced and well-respected radiology expert witness on our panel, Dr Robert Colliver.
Dr Colliver is the clinical lead for Interventional Radiology at the Royal United hospital in Bath. He is an experienced Radiologist in the areas of non-vascular interventional radiology, genitourinary, oncological, and gastrointestinal radiology. Dr Colliver is also experienced in a range of interventional procedures including biliary intervention, nephrostomy insertion, ureteric stenting, oesophageal dilation, embolization and percutaneous nephrolithotomy.
He now sits on the British Society of Interventional Radiology board of members for NICE. He has published several papers in his field and has particular specialism in urology and gastrointestinal radiology.
Why use Expert Court Reports?
A good radiology expert witness should come with years of clinical experience as well as specific competencies to act as an expert witness. Look for someone who has established expert witness experience. Our radiology expert Dr Robert Colliver has many years of clinical practice and established experience of acting as expert witnesses.
How quickly can you provide a report?
At Expert Court Reports Ltd, we understand the pressures of the legal profession. We recognise that litigation is subject to defined timescales and for this reason, we will be as flexible and accommodating as we are able to be. However, we pride ourselves on not promising work that cannot be reliably delivered within a given timescale. The quality of the evidence which is provided by our experts is subject to review and scrutiny. All expert reports are subject to a detailed and robust proofreading process to ensure that our expert evidence is accurate and expertly formatted.