Who Is Responsible For An Incidental Finding?

This week’s issue of JAMA has a vignette about whose responsibility it is to deal with an incidental finding on an imaging test. I have written about a similar dilemma in my post, “If You Find It, You Own It“.

In the JAMA piece, a man with back pain had a lumbar MRI which happened to show a kidney tumor. The ordering physician didn’t make it his responsibility to make sure the patient or the patient’s primary care physician knew about this potentially lethal finding:

Medical Error, May 11, 2011, Schiff 305 (18): 1890 — JAMA.

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